I have heard it said that “the content of our lives is the curriculum for our soul’s evolution,” a call to grow. Oftentimes the curriculum is not easy, but if we choose to glean the gifts, our “dark night” experiences can bring transformation; they can help us to access our inner sanctuary, to create new beginnings, and move forward to live a life we love.
Change can happen slowly or in a moment. My journey of deeper transformation began December 4, 1997, with a phone call from my Doctor. He had the biopsy results, and the diagnosis was breast cancer. I was blindsided. The day before the phone call, my picture-perfect life looked like this: I was fit and seemingly healthy. I was “happily” married with three beautiful young sons. I loved being a mom and my husband and I were business partners in a successful training and consulting business. Six month later, the life I had known came apart at the seams. My marriage ended, as did our business partnership. By July of 1998, I was a cancer survivor, a single parent and unemployed.
When I began rebuilding my life, I realize I was an “unconsciously and somewhat competent” DreamBuilder. I had a vision for what I did want (the first principle of transformation). I wanted to heal on every level. I had a burning desire to see my young sons grow into men. I wanted to grow spiritually. I wanted to make a difference in the world, and I wanted to have some amazing travel adventures. In 1999, I had another go with cancer. I wasn’t sure if my health would cooperate, but I made a firm decision, (the second principle of transformation). I wanted so much out of life. I wanted, as expressed by Henry David Thoreau, to suck the marrow out of whatever amount of time I would be gifted with. Where I fell short in the scheme of DreamBuilding, was befriending my “fear.” Hindsight is a great teacher. I know now, that fear will always be a player when we are on our growing edge… I didn’t know it back then, and what I lacked was solid mentorship and a system of support to navigate all the change. I couldn’t see my subconscious blocks and the belief systems that caused me to collapse back to habitual thinking patterns and ways of being when I felt fear. As a result, I took many unnecessary detours in those early years… and I am here to tell you that you don’t have to.
Why did I share this, and why does it matter? Because I want you to know that you are far more capable and resourced than you can imagine. The power breathing you is greater than any circumstance, situation or condition you may be facing today. It is important to traverse and process our dark nights. As we do this, we can “glean the gifts” that the tough stuff teaches us about ourselves. If I can live into the life of my dreams, you can too. I wouldn’t wish what I went through on anybody, but I would wish where it took me on everybody. It is with a sense of deep gratitude that I can tell you today, I have realized all my earlier dreams… and I am now pulled by new ones.
When I was first diagnosed with breast cancer, my oldest son was 11 years old. He is now 35. Next September, I’ve been invited to officiate his wedding ceremony. Something I had not even imagined. These are what I call “bonus dreams”!