It is a beautiful autumn day here in Tortorella and I am curled up on the sofa beside the fire. It has been just over a year since we arrived in Italy and as a result I have been reflecting a lot on how we got here.
Believe it or not it all started with a book. Not one I read but one I wrote. In 2012 Tending to your Inner Garden, was published and every bit of my inner guidance pointed towards packing our bags and taking that book on the road. We covered 31,000 miles my man and I, across Australia, to Hawaii up the west coast of the United States and across Canada before arriving back in Ireland 6 months later.
I’ll be honest with you, and this is really hard to ‘say’ out loud, I thought that book was going to change the world. And I thought that as I had done everything the Universe had asked of me, written the book, gotten it published, taken it out into the world, that fame and glory would be mine and I would arrive back to Ireland with a nice pot of cash as reward for my endeavours.
That’s not how it worked out.
We arrived back in Ireland financially broke. Not just a little broke, really broke. My dad who was in his 70’s drove 4 hours round trip on several occasions to bring us groceries because we couldn’t afford to buy any. We had no money to pay our bills and our tenant had crashed our car, neglected our house and left our ducks and chickens to the mercy of the fox. All that we thought we were, was gone.
It has taken me three and a half years to fully understand what that whole experience was about and to finally get the cosmic joke. The full title of my book was Tending to your Inner Garden, A Woman’s Journey Towards Wholeness. I thought I was writing that book for other women, turns out I was writing that book for myself.
Here is some of what I have learned in that time.
- That sometimes when you are so damn independent you have to be drop kicked fully into vulnerability so that you can learn how to receive.
- To be in flow you must learn to give AND receive in equal proportion.
- Your self-worth should not be based on the amount in your bank account (positive or negative).
- The Universe always has a plan; you may however not always like it.
- Having your ego/identity/masks stripped away is incredibly painful but only then can you sit face to face with the real you.
- The real you is gorgeous and messy and f**ks up and does things amazingly well, but she is real and raw and true.
- When we align to our true self, even though it can be as scary as hell, we create space for magic and miracles to show up daily in our lives.
- Our human logical linear mind is completely incapable of understanding the magical extraordinary synchronistic workings of a Universe that aligns planets and galaxies. And if it can do this it can help you align to your heart’s desire (not your ego’s desire) if you let go of control and get the hell out of the way and let her do her job.
- And that a dad’s love for his child is beyond words and sometimes his actions say that which his words cannot.
So as I reflect on our year in Italy and all the stepping stones that have taken us to this place, I am so very aware of how much of who I thought I was has been burned to the ground. And it hurt, and I was angry and embarrassed and ashamed. But for the first time in my life I am free to be me, the ‘whole’ of me, with all my perfections and imperfections and beauty and flaws. And every day I am falling in love with this woman that is me a little bit more.
And every so often I feel myself reaching / striving to be ‘better’ when the demons of ‘not good enough’ come knocking on my door. This is when I have to remember that ‘better’ is just my ego’s suit of armour and when I wear that armour life is really hard; it is a life of fear and lack and doubt and comparison. I have chosen not to live that life anymore.
Instead I choose this one, where I can sit in the middle of a field and be full to overflowing with gratitude and joy. Where richness is not measured by money but by the fruits of my connection to people, to myself and to the land.
Turns out that writing, publishing and taking that book around the world was one of the best things I have ever done and was exactly the right thing to do, just for none of the reasons that I thought!
In deep love from the Cilento,
Catherine x x x