I’m so excited to introduce you to a new series here on Soul Speak!
Beautiful souls who have journeyed through my Coming Back to Life Ecourse will be sharing their experience with it! I wanted to give you a first-hand view of how it truly does change lives and awaken hearts.
My blogging buddy, Bobbi Emel is first up! Her post brought tears to my eyes. She has been through such a heartbreaking loss, and I’m so inspired by her bravery and her ability to continue to explore her deepest pain in order to wake up and start living fully again.
I dove into the first module of Jodi’s course with interest and curiosity. Soul Speak always has such inspirational, authentic posts. But how would Jodi be able to translate this into a course that would teach me to “come back to life?” What does “coming back to life” mean, anyway?
I first watched and enjoyed Jodi’s welcome video. I haven’t met Jodi “live” so it was really nice to hear her kind voice and be welcomed into the course.
I was surprised to find myself getting immersed in the course right away. In the past when I’ve taken online courses, I often found there was a lot of introductory information that, to tell the truth, just annoyed me. I want to get right to it, dammit! And I did get right to it by reading Jodi’s incredible piece, Coming Back to Life With The Help of an Unlikely Friend.
I emailed her immediately: “Jodi. This story is worth the price of the course alone. Outstanding!”
Jodi’s honest account about losing her faith as a young woman only to have a more than remarkable incident (or series of incidents) restore a newer version of it reminded me of my own story from several years ago.
(Cue dream/flashback music.)
The year was 1998 and I was 34 years old. I was at a retreat on Vashon Island, Washington and I didn’t want to be there.
The organizers had promised that it would be a time of spiritual fulfillment and getting to know our own unique gifts. My work at a mental health clinic had paid for me to attend the retreat so I could learn more about how to help our clients find their core gifts and feel more welcomed in the community.
I was okay with the gifts part but didn’t want anything to do with spiritual fulfillment. Bleah. I had left that all behind years ago when a searing betrayal by a college ministry had wounded me beyond repair. Or so I thought.
In clinical language, one could call the retreat experiential. In reality, it was one long ritual. Although I felt much like Jodi did earlier in her life – spiritually numb and skeptical of anything with a hint of spirituality about it – I decided to keep an open mind. I allowed myself to participate in the ritual and soon became deeply involved in working toward healing the anger I felt toward those who had wounded me so long ago.
In the last part of the ritual, we were asked to toss a stone into water to signify forgiveness. As I prepared to launch my stone, I directed my lips to form the words, “I forgive them all.” But instead, from nowhere, I heard my voice say, “I forgive myself.”
My hands flew up to cover my mouth and tears rushed to my eyes as the moment sunk in. It wasn’t “those people” who had been blocking me from my spirit all these years. It was me. I had never forgiven myself for my own role in the wounding. For allowing myself to get into the situation in the first place and for staying even when my heart knew better.
With my self-forgiveness came an instant openness to Spirit, love, and compassion. Just like the Grinch, I’m sure my heart grew three sizes that day. (You can read a more complete version of my story here.)
I came home from that retreat and started reading everything I could get my hands on about spirituality and its place in our lives and the world. Everything that happened in my life seemed meaningful on a completely different level.
A few years after the retreat, my partner developed breast cancer and we decided to approach it in a spiritual manner. We saw her cancer and treatment as a journey on which we were to learn more about loving each other and others rather than a fight against a disease. I knew I would not have been able to take this peaceful stance had it not been for my spiritual awakening.
Yet, as the years have gone by, I’ve lost some of that spiritual energy.
My partner died from her breast cancer and grief was much harder than I thought it would be. I moved to a new place and, although I loved it, I found it difficult to find friends at first. My heart began to close up again.
Or, at least, some of the numbness slowly and insidiously made its way back in.
So, here I am, all these years later with a sorta-numb heart and feeling only moderately connected to my life.
Until I read Jodi’s story.
You know how when your foot or arm falls asleep and all you need to do is move it a little to get life back into it?
I think Jodi’s story has done that for me. It jostled me and re-awakened that part within me that thirsts for living a fulfilled, awake life.
After reading Coming Back to Life With The Help of an Unlikely Friend, I took a good look at the workbook for this module which I had initially skimmed over. I remembered my skeptical first reaction:
“Hmmm,” I thought, “35 pages is a lot. It’s probably mostly busy-work or rah-rah stuff.”
Get thee behind me, my doubting soul.
No, the workbook was amazingly evocative. It prompted me to find out where I feel connected in my life vs. disconnected and to what extent I felt both of those things.
I was somewhat chagrined but grudgingly enlightened to see how many areas in my life where connections were either low or just kind of lukewarm. It felt like a Homer Simpson moment: “Meh.”
Where did my passion go? My internal combustion system?
Now I understood more of what Jodi has been talking about regarding “coming back to life.” My sorta-numb heart had me lulled into not really living, not really being in my life.
Perhaps, for me, it wasn’t a foot or an arm that fell asleep, but my heart.
And, just like when your foot or arm “wakes up” from being numb, I know there will be some pain involved as I move through the Coming Back to Life course.
But instead of avoiding it as I’ve done in the past, I’m looking forward to it.
If just two components of the course – Jodi’s story and the first workbook – can start the process of awakening my heart, how wonderful will the rest of it be?
I can’t wait to find out.
Psychotherapist Bobbi Emel specializes in helping people face life’s significant challenges and regain their resiliency. Download her free ebook, “Bounce Back! 5 keys to survive and thrive through life’s ups and downs.” You can find her blog at http://www.TheBounceBlog.com and follow her on Facebook (www.facebook.com/bobbiemel) and Twitter (@BobbiEmel.)
Tired of Feeling Numb and Disconnected?
Ready to Wake Up and Start Living Fully?
The Coming Back to Life Ecourse comes straight from my heart. It’s already helped many people open up and start embracing their lives again, and I would love for you to experience that joy, too!
This life-changing ecourse is a helping hand, a set of tools, and a community all wrapped up into one loving course to support you when you are feeling numb and unsure of which way to go.
It’s packed with TONS of goodies to help you reconnect and feel alive again – including a 250-page soulful workbook, over 35 contributors, six heartfelt guided meditations, over 40 heartfelt videos, soulful artwork, a private Facebook page, and weekly chat sessions!
We all have a light inside of us that shines so brightly, and this beautiful ecourse will help you remove some of the veils that have been covering your light. Isn’t it time you allowed yourself to shine? To live fully? To feel completely alive? I definitely think so!
I would love for you to join us – our journey begins on 1/21.
Special Bonus Gift: To thank you for registering, you’ll instantly receive over $175 in soulful bonus gifts immediately after signing up!