• Alisha Emerald

Living the good life (No one belongs here more than you)

I've been doing a lot of training lately. Maybe you know, maybe you don't (Now you do.) I'm getting ready to launch my first group coaching program (hopefully this summer!) and I've been working like a mad woman on organ donation awareness, non-toxic living, with various pregnancy loss organizations and also, you know, trying to stay alive in the never ending roller coaster world of life with a transplanted organ during a worldwide pandemic. I'm trying to create something sustainable in a world where not much feels sustainable these days, and it all has me left needing a strong drink, or a vacation, neither of which I can have at the moment.

The last few weeks I've been doing a deep dive into end of life doula training. While I don't necessarily want to work in hospice, this training feels like the next right step in working with transplanted and chronic illness patients. Someone made the comment to me that all that death work must be depressing. Yes... and no. Because, yes, I'm learning about dying well, all different kinds of diseases and what the body does during the last moments of life and how to support grieving individuals through any kind of loss. But no, because more than focusing on dying well, we're focusing on living well. What does a good life mean to you? Death, like birth, is sacred. And getting to help people step into their power and create a beautiful life they love, to alchemize grief into something so rich, it feels like a surreal gift.

I've been thinking about what my good life looks like. I keep referring to this as my second life, and while I know it's not technically true and we only get one wild and precious life, acknowledging this precious gift of getting to begin again, live again, is something I remind myself often. I was given a chance not a lot of people get, and what do I want to do with it?

So in an effort to answer this question, and create something sustainable that lights me up, and while I explore this new path, I've been thinking about who I want to be. I know I don't want to go back to my old way of existing in this world, and yet I don't yet know all the details of who I am becoming. She is an unfolding work in process. And it's so easy to want to rush this process. I want to be, now. I want to have created and sustained now. I've been looking at people I admire, trying things on, trying to feel out the edges of this new thing and see where I fit. And sometimes I find something that works for me, and I cling to it like I just dug up buried treasure. And sometimes it's awkward and clunky, and it takes a moment for me to realize it isn't me, that this thing I've adopted is just a role I'm playing.

Here's what I've learned about life - playing is how we learn. It's how we figure out who we are. From little kids on the playground to now, as adults who are trying to find their place in this world. Playful equals powerful. And who said we only get to be one thing? Who said we can't try on identities and archetypes like we're playing dress up? Who said we only had to be one thing?

Because if I've learned anything about who I am in this whole uncovering journey, it's that I'm not just one thing. It all belongs.

Here's what else I've learned - that my worthiness doesn't shift with each role I play. Nothing and no one can take away the fact that I belong here. No one belongs here more than me.

So as I sit here in front of my computer, beginning again in this second life, trying to condense who I am and what I'm about, I know that within my bones is the freedom to be anything and anyone I want. I can take what works, leave what doesn't, fall in love with the process of creating and sustaining and becoming.

And you can too. And I guess that's my challenge for you, as you try to distinguish who you are and where you belong. You belong here. You are worthy. And you get to be and do whatever you choose. Sometimes it may feel like the world hasn't caught up yet, but that's ok. I'm reminded of a quote from Grey's Anatomy where it says "They just haven't caught up to God yet."

We are doing hard and holy work, friends. The divine in me honours and acknowledges the divine in you.

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