I've Been Here Before


As I lay in the sun settling into my intuition breathing, in through the mouth, deep exhale the same way out, letting the breath cycle as I bring my mind’s eye to my heart. I’ve been repeating this as much as possible the past week, it has felt like a shock to my body returning to my regular life from a week of open space and love at The Dance Sessions, and it doesn't help that my mind likes to remind where I was this time last year. So I lay here, the sun beating down mostly on the left side of my body making my skin prickle and itch cause I’ve been here for a good amount of time. I turn to my heart, asking for any input from my guides and ancestors for insight into what my body is trying to tell me. Why does my heart feel like it’s being held in an unrelinquishing fist, my lungs feel unable to expand, making my breaths feel shallow or completely held at moments, like there’s no time to stop and take a deep exhale only room for gasps of air, and yet, there is time, there is plenty of it, I just feel unable to orient myself back to me in time to do it. Have you ever felt thrust out of your own skin, not sure which direction to step next, while simultaneously feeling like you don’t want to step at all because it just seems too scary? That’s been me on and off for over a week now. So I continue listening to my heart, breathing in…breathing out. Suddenly, I hear it first a rumbling of wind moving through the trees, past the fence and then feel the gust of air blow loudly across the right side of my body, and I recognize, I’ve been here before.


So many times I would lay on the beach, our annual summer trip out to my family's favorite stay in Watsonville, ironically it was normally cold and overcast but we liked that there weren’t a lot of people and getting to wake up right on the ocean was just unbeatable. We would normally go the week around my birthday in August (it is currently the week before my birthday), I often found myself getting into arguments with my mom, being very similar, we butted heads about big things and nothings, so after our daily argument I would lay on the beach, my eyes closed, trying to get back to my sanity as the wind blew over me incessantly because that’s just what the weather was like out there, and my mind would be trying to reassure myself that I was ok regardless of feeling so alone and so misunderstood. I love my family but to say that I’m different from them is an understatement, and it’s something I think we’re all trying to appreciate currently, but as a 12 year-old who just felt so wrong, that was my space to go inward and try to convince myself that I was right. I didn’t have the words for it then, but I recognize it now. My healing is being able to look back at that girl, to recognize that she is still within me but know that I have the tools to self-soothe, to grow and expand in an arena that feels so scary…the unknown. I can lean in to this uncomfortable feeling of what do I do, I’m turning 31 in three days, it’s been a year since she left me and I still think about her, I love what I do, but also don’t know what I’m doing, where do I go next, do I have a place in this world, it goes on and on, but regardless of all these difficult thoughts and statements I can pause and still say you are whole Vanessa, you are on the right path and I love you the most in this entire world. And if I’m being honest here, which I wholeheartedly am, it took me writing this to recognize that.

This statement does not change the fact that I still feel all those feelings, it just means that I can love myself through it, with less judgement. Just recently I let the tears fall as I sat outside in the same backyard where I cried my eyes out a year ago because I was heartbroken and in another place of unknown in my life. By releasing my judgements of where my heart may be at emotionally and taking the gem that is showing me a stark contrast of who I was then versus who I am now, I can then appreciate the beautiful cyclical pattern of growth. Yes I have been here before, but not as this person nor in this same situation, because I've grown and this is a beautiful moment to recognize that. I am learning to garner the lessons from each experience and cherish the beautiful moments, picking the memories that show me where I can grow, that reveal how well I was loved and the times that give me a reflection of the person I was.

My growth through all of these situations will serve a greater purpose, whether it's to be there for someone else that may be in a similar situation or to continue to grow emotionally or even to just have more awareness. Through this writing my conclusion is that I should be fully present in these feeling and learn all I can because it's here in my life for a reason. So regardless of all of these unknown’s, I’m going to be okay, in fact, I think I’m going to be great. See you soon 31.