My Dear Sara,
I am proud of you.
It’s been six whole years since your life blew up.
Very few people will understand the fear, complete devastation, and shock you felt over Thanksgiving, 2013. No one – not even your biggest enemy – should have to go through what you experienced. And I’m so deeply sorry you were dealt this hand.
And yet, I’m thankful.
I’m thankful NOT that you have been dealt some of life’s deepest challenges and traumas, but that you have developed the ability to overcome all that life has thrown your way.
Through your challenges, you have found what you are capable of.
I remember when you were about fourteen years old, walking a deserted, quiet road in the middle of winter. It was nighttime and the snow began falling. Looking up at the streetlight on the corner of Hillcrest and Center, you stood in wonder and studied millions of flakes gracefully falling from the sky. Cold water droplets freezing on dust particles, creating beautiful ice crystals, and slowly building into the six arms of the perfectly crafted snowflake. And to think: just like humans, no two snowflakes have ever been, are, or will be alike! Everything about that moment was full of awe… so simple, peaceful, and mystical. How could this world be so beautiful and simple?
And yet… not?
How could there be the simplicities of grass blades and snowflakes and grains of sand, yet so much chaos created by human beings?
The dichotomy of life can feel so overwhelming.
If only we, as men and women, could understand that we are better together than we are apart. If we allowed ourselves to stop complicating life, and instead come home to simplicity and peace.
Can you imagine the possibilities? If we allowed ourselves to truly see one another without judgment? Better yet, if we allowed ourselves to view our OWN selves without bitter thoughts, discord, or self-loathing emotions?!
We are all created as pure human beings… we all have pure love within us.
How beautiful would it be if we allowed love to wash over us in place of toxic emotions, judgments and thoughts?
These last six years have taught you so much. And there is one hard lesson you’ve had to endure many times over: Some things in life, as unfair as they are, we simply cannot fix. Acceptance of that is hard, sure, but it has also been your key to moving forward. And look at what it has delivered.
Forgiveness in place of anger.
Love in place of hate.
Peace in place of chaos.
Through these past six years, you have found all of that in your own heart and soul. And more.
I’ve watched you stumble through the hard times when you wanted to scream and cry from mountain summits. How could this have happened?
I was there when you smashed your paddle on the ocean, feeling the unfairness of life as anger fueled you from the inside.
You ran (five) 50-mile ultra-marathons to find clarity, hope, resolve… and perhaps make your physical body feel the same pain of your inner emotions.
Your love for yourself and your family pushed you through to put one foot in front of the other and do the work. And now, look at the result.
Through your own process of somatic healing, moving your body in nature while connecting with the ocean, mountains, and trails… you found you. AND YOUR PURPOSE IN LIFE.
I am so proud of you.
THANKSGIVING, 2019, SIX YEARS LATER: you wanted to transform this holiday! And here you are, at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, filming the documentary in production of your life story and healing in nature, WALK THROUGH THIS: A Story of Starting Over. As you woke up this morning with 9 other women in the warm cabin, dancing to the well-thought-out playlist, I celebrate you. As the crew and cast read the secret letters you carried in your pack, written from their loved ones for them to open on Thanksgiving morning, I celebrate them. As you meditate under the stars and along the creek, coach women through their fears, anger and emotions, hold space, providing courage and strength for women to share their stories on film, dance in the rain, break bread with strangers, hike through the snow, laugh, cry, scream and hug, observing ALL THAT MOTHER NATURE HAS TO HEAL and DELIVER … I celebrate everyone who will be impacted by this film.
We are ALL ripples of change in this beautiful world.
Thank you for holding onto your vision. For taking the risks, not listening to nay-sayers and instead, using that energy to fuel what you saw as possible. Not everyone will agree with you. And that’s quite alright! Because as you know all too well, no two journeys in life are alike. All that you can do is open the door and invite them in.
All of that said… please, Sara, this is your gentle reminder to CELEBRATE YOU TODAY. Pause while in the canyon and see how far you have come. Take in the beauty, breathe the crisp air, play in the puddles, and laugh so freaking loud that it shakes the canyon walls!
JUST. HAVE. FUN.
And when it gets hard on your hike out in the snow and cold, remember to go back to the fourteen-year-old girl who found awe in the snowflakes… so simple, peaceful, and mystical. It won’t be an easy hike out, no doubt. But nothing compares to what you’ve already been through! And let’s face it, when you find beauty in diversity, anything is possible.
This is YOUR TIME. Enjoy every step.
2020 is going to deliver… in gratitude.
I love you, Sara.
Happy Thanksgiving, 2019!
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