May I Always Trust My Heart.

Trust... It seems like a fairly simple concept, just let go. When I hear the phrase "just let go" I want to shake whoever is talking to me. Intellectually I understand that I am not in control of many many things in my life, but that is definitely not for lack of trying. I am a planner and project manager, I strive to have all of the details ironed out before I even set off on the journey. It works amazingly well in Web firms and business settings... Not so well in life and the energetic and emotional world.  

Earlier this year I left the comfort and security of what I thought to be a job I would hang on to until I decided to retire or find a new career. 8 months prior I had a gut wrenching feeling that I was no longer happy, and something had to change. I found myself in a prison of my own making, staying in my comfort zone out of fear for what would happen if I left. All the while fearing if I stayed that I would continue to feel a low level depression leading me back down a path of uncontrollable emotional eating. 

In my heart I knew I had to tell my boss, so I started the conversation. We met frequently with tears and laughter, with hugs and open ended questions. By the end of the year my boss went on to give me permission to trust my own heart. Honoring what I knew inside, that in order to be happy I had to grow and continue down the path of self discovery and learning what my purpose in this world is. When he gave me that push, I lost it falling into a pile of tears. Here I was given exactly what I asked for, clear direction about what to do.... and yet I felt more lost than ever. 

I had to let the expectations and plans of how I thought my life was going to look, go... I had to make room for what was trying to come in.

The day I made peace with the idea that maybe this was all happening for me (Yes I do realize I had 100% manifested this in a very gentle and sweet way... but as I said, getting what you want is scary sometimes) I saw a posting for a job on facebook for a company in town called Be Nourished. 

I had been told by numerous people that I needed to check them out because their work was in line with what I feel a call to do in the world (Body Love). To support the idea that nobody is a problem to be fixed, that weight is not tied to worthiness and that healing happens inside out, not via a diet or external force. So, I applied. 

I didn't hear anything for weeks, but in the back of my mind I kept coming back to fantasies of being offered this job. And just to clarify, the job is part time which to me in the past would have been a GIANT NO. But my heart just wouldn't let it go, my heart could not take one more day of shallow longing and this job touched my longing in a very deep way. On the last day, after being thrown one of the sweetest surprise goodbye parties that ever existed I walked to my car and noticed an email. I GOT THE INTERVIEW, for the first time in a long time I felt a tingling trust at the base of my pelvic bowl. 

When I met the owners my heart exploded with glee, I would want to be these phenomenal ladies friends in real life my heart sang! And step by step I kept letting go, each day I didn't hear anything I said "If it is meant to be it will, and if not something better is coming." I went to a few other interviews but still my heart longed to play in a supportive place where I could learn and practice what I love, supporting and empowering people to reconnect and love themselves. Right before my trip to Bali I was called and told I GOT THE JOB! There was not a doubt nor wavering in my mind, I knew this was a resounding YES.

I am in the midst of my first week and what has struck me most is how happy I am, and how driven I am to learn and grow in this place that I have longed to be. I always thought Body Love would be something I did on the side, that I couldn't make a living doing it. I had put Body Love in its own prison without windows. Body Love is me, it is my passion for social change and equality. I bring Body Love with me everywhere I go, the gift is in me. 

Today I was sitting with Kathy and we were talking about what I would do if 2 years ago, future Anna came to tell me the leaps of trust I would make this year... We laughed saying I might say something to the tune of "Oh no honey, no no no" or "Bitch you crazy!". I would have shut it down, and yet my body viscerally knew how to support the movement my soul was making. My heart didn't skip a beat, and for that I am eternally grateful. 

To my beautiful community, I want to remind you that your heart knows much more than your mind. That sometimes trusting crazy ideas and deep longing can be huge blessings, and they can also be huge lessons. One is not better than the other, the blessings are much more comfortable I will note. I don't know where the other half of my job will come from! I don't know what this year will look like, but I do know that I am fully trusting that I will come up strong because I am supported by the whole universe, and I am full of gratitude. 

I want to thank you all for supporting me along the way, and for supporting Body Love. I also want to invite you to share my information if you run into anyone looking for a business/web manager, project manager, or Body Love Coach. But most of all, I want to make sure you know that trusting the heart can lead you all the way... If you let it.

SO Much Love,

Bali Blessed

Ubud Sacred Monkey Forest (Age 3 vs Age 28!)

Ubud Sacred Monkey Forest (Age 3 vs Age 28!)

Where on earth do I even begin? When I planned my trip to Bali, I was in serious need of a true vacation. Last year after taking myself to Hawaii for the first adult solo trip I've ever taken, I made a pact with myself to go on an adventure every year. This trip had been planned for almost 10 months, excitingly enough my dear friend Jaime decided she needed an epic adventure as well and chose to come with. 

Last year was filled with lessons; lessons on how to be ok with not being ok, lessons in patience, and ultimately lessons in how to let go. At the tail end of the year I decided with the loving support of my amazing boss and coworkers that my time with the company (of 5 years) had come to an end and it was time to take a leap into something new. Now any of you who know me, know how much I love comfort. Im not a big leaper, I am a creature of habit and a big supporter of stability. But after much consideration I realized, to grow I had to leap. 

Bali was the start of my leap year, On February 8th I headed off on my big adventure. To be honest if the trip hadn't been planned and paid for, I would have called it off after leaving my job. I would have said, now is not the time for an adventure... But thats not what the universe had in store for me. Stepping off the plane and into the main lobby of the Denpasar Airport I was struck by how familiar the smell was. My parents had taken my brother and I to Bali when we were young and I wasn't sure if I would recognize anything... but the smell of the island was brilliantly familiar and I felt the pull to return, had been fulfilled.

The day we arrive was the first day of Galungan, a balinese holiday celebrating the victory of dharma where the ancestral sprits visit the earth. There are 10 days of ceremonies and on the last day, Kuningan (it is said )the spirits return to heaven. The spirituality of Bali is palpable, offerings were scattered around the city in a beautiful messy way.

What struck me most was the smiles on everyones faces. If I smiled at someone, they smiled back bigger and brighter. There was so much love amongst the people, so much kindness. I realized that to the balinese people I have so much, here I am stressing on the daily about having enough money to buy bullshit and their they were content with so little. They put all of the money they have into their family temple, into their place of prayer. In America we get so wrapped up in the clothes we wear, and cars we drive. In Bali, they work every single day to ensure their families have enough to eat, and that they have some left over for offerings. I am truly inspired, and plan to bring back the idea that I have more than enough already.

It felt like from the moment we arrived we just kept going and going, we wanted to feel and sense and touch every part of this amazing place. Touring temples, beaches, massage spots, forests, rivers, even the Gili Islands. We started in the south and traveled up the east coast, Diving in Amed, boating in Lovina, and finally 5 days before our journey back we settled in Ubud. There is a sweet seductive calmness in Ubud, Im sure thats what brings so many expats and tourists. In the last few days I found the euphoria of roots, of grounding down and staying for a while. I walked with a heavier step knowing that this place was full of magic and I was soaking that magic up. 

  Adventure is exciting and spontaneous, both of which are not common descriptors I would use for myself. In my true Kapha nature I am steady and grounded (and tearful, I am always crying). This trip shook me from my core, begging me to try something new on. When I look back, I feel proud of Adventure Anna. I feel proud that my body that held back pain (daily), blisters, bites, sun burns, and scratches kept going and kept laughing. I even feel proud that when there were days when I was in such awe that I forgot to breath, and maybe even disassociated from myself a bit, my body was right there with me. No matter the day, the challenge, or the blessing my brilliant amazing strong body carried me through. On days when I had searing backpain and just wanted a new body, my sweet heart reminded me of the blessings and millage this body has in it. I was reminded each day to stay here, to stay in this moment. Had I known what this adventure would have held before hand I might have said no, I might have been too scared to throw caution into the wind and travel without a detailed itinerary... I might have missed out on the chance to see how amazing I truly am. 

This trip has taught me trust and gratitude, it has taught me that I am strong and independent. It has taught me that I can do so much more than I think I can do, and that I fucking love tassel malas. I am so grateful for the opportunity to take a leap in life, and to know that I really can't fail. I may make mistakes, and I may feel discourage, and then again I may find miracles and a life far beyond my wildest dreams. So I guess.... I choose to trust and say "Thank you Bali, I am blessed". 



Healing the Mother Wound

For the past couple of months I have been enmeshed in working with this idea of the "Mother Wound" without having any idea what I was working through. As Ive started to really dive into the depths of my experience with eating, my body, how I think.. basically the whole shabang! Ive found this endless well of sadness within me, a deep place of grief that I have lived my whole life trying to avoid. 

In the the spiritual work I do there is a concept in our development when we are first born called Mother Child Merging. When we are born we merge with our mothers, we get all of our sustenance and love from that contact. This is a very important time in a child's life because is is where we learn what love is, and that is it a limitless force. Of course if one does not have this time in their life, it doesn't mean they don't know what love is. But through my understanding, it is more difficult to be in contact with the essential quality of love, and the idea that it is limitless.

I had this time with my mother, but it was tumultuous for both of us. We had just moved to Guam and we were not living in the safest place. My mother was having a hard time adjusting to our new environment, as was I. There was some serious survival going on for both of us. The result of that traumatic time for me is having the idea that love is not easy, nor limitless. I have to fight for love, I have to work and prove myself for love. But maybe the most painful part of it all, is the idea that I am missing something. There is a part of me that is missing, that part is something only my mother can give me, and I missed the opportunity (basically Im fucked). Subconsciously I have been doing everything in my power to get that lost merging love back. I have tried to have a better body, to be a perfect "good little girl" to do everything that society, and my parents would want to win the love back, to be complete and whole.

So as I've been working with this endless well of grief Ive realized that I am working incredibly hard to get something that I will never get. The truth is my mother loves me, and it is impossible to get the mother infant connection for my now adult self.... This concept is very difficult for my psyche to understand. And I have been tormenting myself trying to get the thing (merging love) to make me happy, perfect, whole, and complete. Now isn't that some fuckery!

I recently read this post and really loved the clarity, and to know this is not something I alone am facing: About the Mother Wound

Ive also come to realize that while this "Mother Merging" sounds beautiful and is a very special bond, its also contact with our own love. Yes there is merging but that love that we feel is our own, and the overflow of our Mothers love comes from her feeling her own love. When I sit in that knowing, that I am capable of being in contact with limitless love, and that the love I am seeking is within me.... I feel both free from the bonds of scarcity, and also saddened that as a child I was not taught (none of us were) that love is everything and there is no doing require to be it. I am love. 

So as I traverse the waters of healing the biggest wound of all, I am also playing in the beautiful knowing that I am love. That my body (Which has been the biggest "problem" in my life) is ACTUALLY the smallest part of me. My body is not who I am, but I will cherish it and care for it because it holds all of my most precious parts. It is the container for my soul, my essence, and even my ego structures. My body is the forest for which all the magic happens. 

I leave you with this idea... What if you are not missing anything? What if all that needs to happen is to stop believing the lies that we took on as children because we thought they were the truth? And what if we are all just pure love waiting to be seen, felt, and experienced? Simple as pie... (Simple...Yeah right)

Unlearning the lies is the path I am on, and it is not simple nor easy. One of the most difficult parts to digest is knowing that there is no destination, and being on this path does not mean life will be happy and pleasurable. But it does mean that I will be with my whole self, that I will seek the truth, and that I will know more of what I am. The past few months have been an evaluation of if I can hack it, can I be with the uncomfortable and sometimes downright excruciating feelings that come with this truth?

I can sure as hell try! Ive gone too far down the rabbit hole, I have made contact with my beingness. I have also started to see the pain as this beautiful part of me, and that is something I could never have said before. Don't get me wrong, I do not see all pain as beautiful, but in this well of sadness I have felt very close to myself, and that is an amazing experience. I wish you all a beautiful fall, may you stay in contact with your experience regardless of the feelings that may arise. And may I do the same.... even when I really really don't wanna!



An open letter to... Myself.

Dearest love of my life,

I don’t always know what I’m doing. I get scared, and can be impulsive. I get mad and cry sometimes because I’m not always able feel and allow anger. I can get really sad, and happy and silly and even still. I hate when we fight. Sometimes I try to avoid feeling because I’m scared that I might not be able to handle all thats stirring inside. 

Im sorry… 

For changing.  
For letting the media tell me how I should look.
For being on diet after diet. 
For not always loving every inch and pound.
For blaming my body. 
For not listening.
That I let other people decide whats best for you... when only I know whats best.
For allowing others to use me up, hoping they might in turn love me.

Im really really sorry. 

I want to…

Hold you, and love you, and tell you how perfect you are. 
Protect and make boundaries to keep us safe (Im really working hard on that one). 
Feel you, even the painful parts.
Share all of our secrets (Without shame).
Be let in, and crack open. 
Travel the world hand in hand.
Know every corner of you. 
Laugh, sing, and cry. 
Be quiet with you. 
Nurture you. 
Be the mother that was never quite there in the way we might have needed. 
Honor you for loving me, endlessly.
Trust you.

I want to thank you…

For trusting me.
For staying by my side
For being brilliant, wise, and understanding.
For being hysterically funny, and talking like a 70 year old sometimes.  
For listening to every worry, thought, and impulse I’ve ever had. 
For holding me up when I could barely function. 
For never judging me when all I ever did was criticize. 
For being kind, when all I spit was hate. 
For seeing me.
For allowing me to constantly change and evolve. 

My promise to you…

Is that I will do my best to look inside when my mind tells me I need to be fixed.
To feel, even when it feels like I won’t make it though the emotional storm.
To keep breathing.
To trust, that we are enough. 
To stop pushing so hard, I know it gets tiring.
To bring compassion when all I want to do is criticize. 
To fight, against the media’s ideal of the “perfect woman”.
To honor every pound, inch, and cell of our being.
To stop doing so much, because I know just being is healing. 
To never give up on us.

You are enough. 

We are enough. 

I am enough… In the end we all are. 

Love always,
(your soulmate) 
Anna Louise Eileen Chapman

Spring equinox - Solar eclipse of the heart.

Spring equinox - Solar eclipse of the heart.

I feel a lot of internal sediment has been shaken up this past week, old wounds being exposed to the light, old beliefs being brought into question. The spiritual parts of ourselves can get quite impatient and long for desires to be our reality RIGHT NOW. When we bypass the essence of longing, and live in the "having" we disengage from where we are are and end up pushing ourselves past our limits. We beat ourselves up, and allow our ego's to take the lead... Leading us right back into the chaos of where we "should" be, and the old beliefs about our bodies and minds start to creep in. 

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