j o u r n a l f o u r | emotional processing

Here's a question:

Can we fall in love with a thing while simultaneously processing past wounds? Can we feel the light and the dark together? Can we do both at the same time? Some say 'yes', while others say a definite, 'no'; I think it's a deeply personal choice, one that requires lots of self-awareness and the dedication to sitting in the emotions rather than sweeping them under the rug.

When our hearts break it can be overwhelmingly tempting to do whatever it takes to distract the self from the pain, that might look like a multitude of vices from drinking wine to getting super-busy, to shopping, anger, or perhaps replacing past love with new love. I've done them all; especially the wine vice and the man vice. Jumping too quickly into a new relationship can be a dangerous choice, all depending on the intentions behind the choice.

Intentions are everything. 

And there is no road map, no "right or wrong manual"; we are all different, each circumstance is different - so what do we do, how do we know?I will say it again: Intentions.Are.Everything.

Are we jumping into new love because our hearts break so badly and new love offers us a reprieve from that pain because new love feels.fucking.good? Are we using a new love as a distraction to the pain we are in? Are we using that new love as a drug? 

How do we know when we are ready for new love? How do we know if we are repeating past patterns or using humans for our own selfish needs to take the edge off of the sharp pains in the heart? How do we know if we are in a healthy place of letting go of the old while welcoming the new; is this even possible?

I think it is. 

I can't speak for you, but I can share my own experiences. 

My whole life I have jumped from relationship to relationship - man to man - always a love on the go and never taking the time to sit in the pain of a broken heart. I never gave myself time to digest the past love before diving in deep into something new. I have always used wine to take away the edge, and love to pump me full of the feel-good emotions, ultimately running away from the intense feelings of a bleeding broken heart. 

I didn't know how to sit in the discomfort. 

April 2017 came to me as a great gift and healing teacher. April came into my life as a fierce fire-breathing dragon and right when I least expected it, she blew fire - e v e r y w h e r e - and my life crumbled as I knew it. Like a landslide, it all slid out of my desperate grip, and there was nothing I could do except watch it fall. My marriage fell apart - I was 111 days sober - the haunting reality of lies and a life of smoke and mirrors ripped us apart. Truths emerged between April and August that have left me (to this day) utterly speechless, in complete shock. It was the single greatest betrayal I had ever experienced; the relationship I (thought I) knew, the one I placed full trust in imploded with enormous mite leaving me nearly lifeless, on my knees, sobbing and unsure of what to do or whether or not I would make it out alive.

And yet among this chaos, on my knees in the intense pain, it became painfully clear that this was a spot I had been before. This betrayal; this pain; this landslide - there I was again.  Something in me knew that this time I needed to listen to the teachings of grief, this time I needed to find the courage to surrender; there was no way around this soul swamp, I was going to have to take my own advice, put my gumboots on, get messy and trudge through the depths of this very real, and very physical pain.

No booze. 

No drugs. 

No man distractions. 

No getting busy. 

No vices.

No scratching the painful itch. 

This was it, I had a date with grief, and for the very first time in my life, I became wholeheartedly willing to give myself over to the cosmos and become teachable. I vocally vowed to grief, "Take me, I'm yous, I am here to learn your teachings"; I'll be honest with you - it hurt - it hurt emotionally, spiritually and physically. It literally felt - for months - like I had an actual knife stabbed through my heart. Mostly I was breathless, many days I was ready to call it quits, and more often than not I was overcome with unbelievable doubt that I would make it through. 

The pain was unlike anything I had ever known. 

But I knew I needed to be in it, I knew that this was my time to sit with the enormity of grief and to let her sweep over me - maybe I would live, maybe I would die - either way, I somehow knew I needed to face this. 

So I did. 

I sat with it. I went to countless 12 step meetings and I sat on the chair in coffee scented rooms filled with strangers who have walked similar, harder, and different paths than me, and I cried and cried and cried. I shared where I was at, and I cried. I listened to others share, and I cried. I watched their eyes as they watched me in pain, and their eyes reminded me that better days would come, I wasn't sure when, but I knew they would - if I just kept going. I did my 12 step work. I sat in the pain. I didn't react in anger, or engage in drama - I used every ounce of discipline I could muster to remind myself of 'acceptance' and not allow myself to wallow in self-pity and the land of "what-if's". It was what it was, he was gone, and I was now alone. That was my reality, I didn't have to like it, but I did have to find a way to accept it. I went to energy workers, therapy, and my ND. I journaled, I wrote words on social media that made people squirm, I accepted prayers from others, I reached out to humans who I loved. I ran. I ran so many stairs. And all through this process, I did not scratch the itch with rage, alcohol, drugs, or men. I intentionally set my vices aside. 

And then one day along the journey I decided I wanted to try dating. And so I did. I didn't know if it was too soon, but something in me felt ready. I scrolled through my intentions behind the desire to date - was I numbing, distracting, or escaping? I really was not fully sure, to be honest; I stepped back into the world of dating slowly and with more awareness than ever. I stepped back in vowing to listen to heart first, vowing to remain self-loyal. I would meet a man and instantly my hand would grasp my heart and I would find myself checking in - 'Kori, does this feel right? Is it a racy high? Does this human honor what you know you deserve?'. I learned to use my internal compass, something I had been practicing and learning for years. I went on one date with a man who seemed interesting, but explained to me how he could 'drink anyone under the table', and who had an IG profile filled with nothing but parties and booze; that was a no go - obviously. I met a man who was kind, and willing to dive deep emotionally - I need that kind of man - but he felt wrong for my heart, and so I bravely backed away voicing exactly where I was at. 

Usually I meet a man - doesn't seem to matter who - dive deep, ignore my heart, intuition, and worth, and while being carried away on the high of love's euphoria, suddenly find myself - months later - hustling for approval and in a place of utter self betrayal, with men who treat me unkindly or perpetually lie to my face. 

This time was different. 

This time I was careful and trusting and unwilling to settle. 

Eventually, dating pissed me off - too many dick pics and sexual innuendos, and party boys - and I walked away from the idea of meeting someone; it just did not feel right. 

And then one unexpected day, it happened, the clouds parted and in the sunlight stood a man who felt kind and truthful. You can read a little more here. And for whatever reason, I decided to give it a playful chance. I was scared and overly aware of my desire to stay present to the grief my heart felt, and ensure that I did not use another man to ease the pain in my broken heart. My girlfriend reminded me to keep it light, and I chose to show up to this man in my full authenticity - hiding nothing. 

I was clear about my spiritual beliefs, my past, and my addiction. I was forthcoming with my fears, and my desire to move through them. This time - for the 1st time - I was not looking to be saved, I was looking to be self-loyal no.matter.what. I was unwilling to compromise and unwilling to brush my pain aside in the name of something new. I was also unwilling to 'bond over pain' and over-dramatize the darkness I had experienced - I knew I needed to process it, but I also knew that my past did not define me, and I needed to also let go. 

Over the past few months, I have experienced an interesting duality. 

Its been grief heavy; the waves of sadness are fewer, but they are still there; so much crap still to work through. My beliefs around marriage have exploded, my ideas of what love is has been challenged. The betrayal stems much further than being walked out on by the man I thought loved me; it stems directly from the chain of total abandonment by a family I thought was my own family. I'm struck often with pain that takes my breath away, and anger that boils within my cells; there is simply still work to be done. 

And yet, I am also learning what real loyalty feels like. I have found a human that is willing to sit with me, listen to me, support me. He did not come to save me or fix me, but he has shown up with a capacity to hold space for all of who I am. He does not try to silence my voice, or tell me to leave my past in the past - he allows me to be where I am at. It's healing. 

I am processing both - new love and loss - at the same time. 

Somedays I am fully in the light, dancing and twirling in an experience that has been a beautiful gift. Other days I am on my knees - in tears, cloaked in anger - shocked at the revelation of what 2017's fire-breathing dragon brought to my life. I have avoided scratching the itch - I know what my vices are - and I have stayed faithful to sitting with my feelings and allowing myself to process the waves of whatever shows up - for however long it takes. 

I am grounded. 

I am connected deeply to self. 

I know what my heart needs, becasue I am listening to it and honouring it. 

I am sober, and clear in my thinking. 

I am in connection with divinity through my constant dialogue and prayer. 

For the 1st time in my life, the self is coming before a man, booze is out of the picture, and I am learning how to stay fiercely self-loyal.

For the 1st time in my life, I am learning what real love is.

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j o u r n a l t h r e e | LOVE

I’ve always believed in love; romantic love; world love; self love; friendship love; pooch love; I love love.
Life has offered me a million opportunities to shut down; a hundred and one chances to say ‘fuck you love’. 
Love has tricked me, betrayed me, broken my trust, shattered my heart, & left me nearly lifeless. 
But I love love, & loving is so important to me. 
I didn’t want to shut down, turn my heart off, or become cold & bitter. 
I want to love, but each time I tried, I was met with partners who were not truthful, had not dug deep into the soul & ‘done the work’; 
in all fairness I suppose those painful experiences were reflections of where my wellness resided, and I attracted sickness partly because I, myself, was in fact sick. 
I worked on my wellness, & the clouds began to part after I truly & whole heartedly gave myself to the heavens. & as they parted this man stood in the sunlight with his kind heart, big smile, & never-ending patience; 
& you what he told me? 
He said, “kori I know your heart has been broken, & I do not expect you to freely give me trust”; 
& he said something I’ve never heard before, 
he said, 
“let me prove myself, I want to earn your trust.” 
... this man wanted to earn it, he was (& continues to be) willing to show up & prove his honesty, love, & loyalty. 
I’ve been blown away daily by this man’s desire to prove himself. 
& I’ve been blown away at the level of honesty he shows up with, & his capacity to hold space for me to both fall deeply in love, & process my painful past. 
This man genuinely cares, deeply cares. 
He has taught me an enormous amount about partnership, patience, love, honesty, support, and loyalty. 
My only real idea of pure loyalty comes from border collie, Atreyu, but this beautiful human showed me what loyalty looks like from a partner, he grabbed ahold of my hopeful but broken heart, & he said
“I will prove loyalty”. 
A concept I had not known before. 
I always thought I had to blindly give my trust, & I tossed it out to all the wrong places. This time, because of this man’s wisdom, I’ve held my trust close & only given it out as it was earned. 
I had no idea that this level of support was real, nor did I know that it would exist for me. 
I am blown away. 
Totally humbled by this capacity of love. 
Here’s the thing, we live a life, & we have a million opportunities to shut down & day “fuck this shit”, but what happens when we push through, when we give it another chance? 
What happens when we choose to remain soft, and trusting? 
There is no guarantee; but I’m glad I stayed open. 
I said it from the start, I proclaimed it from my darkest days, & I still mean it.... I CHOOSE LOVE. 
Over & over again, I choose love. 
Love wins. 
My very 1st tattoo, my most important value: LOVE WINS.

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j o u r n a l t w o | let's talk

LET'S TALK for #bellletstalk becasue I think this is pretty damn good cause. 

I'm going to tell you a little about my story, starting from the age of 6. I'll make it mostly brief. 

When I was 6 years old I went on summer holidays with my family, and my Dad had a sudden brain aneurysm and he died that summer. I believe that this initial feeling of abandonment, and sudden loss shaped alot of who I was to become, and the lessons I was to learn. 

Fast forward into Jr. High, I had a fairly normal life -- a good family, I was an ok student, I spent my extra time in dance classes, all seemingly normal from the outside. Except that my inner world was plagued with rage, self hatred, and more anger than I knew what to do with. I was subject to abusive treatment in dance class as my teacher would routinely yell at me in public; it was her mission, so it seemed, to utterly humiliate me. I struggled in with the academics of school, and I took my inner rage out on people in my life. 

The hell of dance class continued through high school, but I felt a reprieve in the school I went too - Bishop Carroll High school - an alternative school with no formal classroom setting and ample freedom for the disciplinary student that could rise to the modality and challenges of this type of learning. I was always super self directed, and this environment boosted my self worth.

My 1st glimmer into addiction happened in grade 12 - I can only see that now looking back. I suppose my 1st drug of choice was Dexedrine. I stole someone else prescription and decided to try it out, it helped enormously with my studies, and I loved the way it made me feel. I headed back to the doctor, admitted I stole the prescription, asked for more, and alas, 'just like that' - I had a prescription. The end of Grade 12 was pivotal for me as I fell into what would be a 5 year deep dive into a rather intense eating disorder. 

Eating disorders are fucked up. Body image dysmorphia, calorie counting, an unbelievable obsession with that I ate, the control, the attempts to vomit, the times I spent on the scale, or the treadmill -- all a outer representation of the inner war I was unable to escape from. Self hatred was my master, food was her torture device, and I was lost in it. The only reprieve I had in those years was weed. I hated smoking weed, I hated how it made me feel, but I was totally hooked on the way it allowed me to eat without guilt. I also loved the escape from the hell that was my mind, and although weed made me paranoid and feel unwell, with enough time abusing a substance one tends to become a little dependent on it - at least the seems to be the case with me. I can now see, with the gift of hindsight, that this was my 2nd dabbling into addiction. 

I'm going to fast forward to my 27th year on the planet, the year that I met a man who would end up being one of my greatest teachers -- the man who I thought I fell in love with, the man who took total control of my psyche and killed my spirit. The man who I called my boyfriend on and off for three years, he would be the man to teach me what it felt like to be called 'useless', 'worthless', and a 'whore'. This volatile relationship was saturated with alcohol, drugs, name calling, physical violence, jealousy, manipulation, lies and anxiety. This would be the time in my life that the culmination of my previous self hatred and low self-worth combined with the reality I was living in, mixed to form a lethal cocktail that resulted in my spirit unwinding into the depths of darkness.   

The detail are in ATLAS OF DARKNESS, my 1st book, so I wont dive too deeply into them. 

Fast forward into 2 more pivotal moments in my life. 

December 27, 2016 - I got sober. I didn't know I was an addict, I thought I just 'liked to party'. I was always able to "work hard, play hard", until one day when I couldn't. The entirety of 2016 was the unraveling of the manageability of my life. Alcohol was making me sick, and yet I was unwilling to stop drinking it. I was blacking out 100% of the time, and beginning to make choices that were having dark consequences on my life. After all the therapy I had done I was finding the darkness in my soul to be creeping back in. I would wake up after a morning of drinking, and before I was even awake the voices would tell me what a looser I was, they would tell me to take pills, they would tell me that this world is better without me. The angst of my soul was trembling, it was only a matter of time before I snapped. And then it happened, December 22 2016, I did snap. I don't want to get into those details here, but I will one day. I knew on December 22 that I needed to stop, I heard a voice loud and clear that said "Kor, you need help", and in that moment I fell naked to my knees and cried. I drank for a few more days -- I was too hung over on the 23rd not to, and then it was Christmas and well, you know, I was in denial. 

December 27, 2016 I got sober. 

Early sobriety was a real trip and a grappled with this concept of the disease I had, the memories of sexual abuse from childhood beginning to surface and the darkness that just would not fucking go away. It was hell. There was no pink cloud, I didn't feel lighter and clearer, I felt like shit all of the time. But I kept going, one day at a time. 

And then my life really unravelled. 111 days into sobriety, the man I thought was 'my person' called me up over the phone and left our marriage. He never came home. My life as I knew it was over, it was on fire, and I was left naked amongst the flames in disbelief, and shock. I also don't want to dive into this story here, not now.. not today - it's still all too fragile.

It's wild to look back, it really is. 

My life to this date has been a series of self hatred, self-pity and self-loathing. Its been filled with drama, abuse and addiction. I have suffered with anxiety so badly I thought my heart would stop, I have gone through times of depression so bad I wanted to slice my wrists open - and the only thing that stopped me was the thought my my dog being left in my condo with my dead bleeding body. 

I can’t tell you the number of times I asked my therapist if I was bi-polar. I can’t tell you how few people knew about the habit I had of deeply scratching my own skin to the point that I have fingernail marks inches long that scar my body to this day.

It would have been to scary for the world to know how deeply I desired to drive off of the calf rope bridge into the river so many days on my way home from nutrition school, or the number of times I stood on the balcony at my ex’s feeling the fear that I would jump.

It was so dark.

Everyday was dark.

Every moment was hell.

I woke up in sweats, and panic, and tears. I suffered insane insomnia. Nothing helped - I could go weeks and weeks without any sleep. I had anxiety so bad I could barely breathe. I missed work... oh my god, so much work. Maybe it was because of my self medicating which resulted in awful hangovers, maybe it was the paralyzingly anxiety, or maybe it was the sheer lack of will I had to live.

I did whatever I could to heal.

I saw my therapist weekly. I left the abusive relationship. I took my supplements. I went back to school. I worked on my digestion and cleansed my body of allergens. i saw my Naturopathic doctor regularly, I had energetic healers, I worked on boundaries, journaling, self-love. I worked on processing emotions. I visited my dads grave and began to come to terms with his death.

I was never formally “diagnosed” with anything - which I am grateful for - but fuck those days were hard. I was lucky to have a therapist who spoke a medicine to my soul that I understood, I was lucky to be born with a big mouth & a deep need to share, for that’s what helped me gather support on some of the darkest most isolating days.

People have begun reading my book #atlasofdarkness & over & over again, I hear the same thing “I had no idea kori”. Yep. I know you didn’t know. I know you didn’t know how dark it was, or how close I was to taking my last breath. I know you didn’t know because I was lost in the chaos & in such deep pain I didn’t want to make it.

I was also embarrassed & filled with shame.

Recognizing in 2016 that I am an alcoholic made things make a little more sense, it explained so much of why the darkness would not go away. It didnt matter how much work I did, I would take 1 step forward and three back. I gained skills and rituals and a much deeper understanding of self, but it would only last so long -- until I was ready to admit total defeat with substances and get clean, I would not find the light that this world had to offer. 

I thought I was fucking loosing my marbles. I thought I was bi-polar, or schizophrenic. It was isolating and lonely. I have never experienced such alone-ness as I did the past 7 years - no one could understand me, no one 'got' me, including me. 

I know what depression is like. I know what it's like to want to give up, to end it all. I know what abuse feels like and the detrimental impact self-hatred has on ones soul. I know what its like to be in physical violence with a man who is supposed to be a safe haven. I know the feeling of paralyzing anxiety, and the prison that eating disorders are. I know suicidal thinking, and I know intimately what its like to numb out with self-harm, drugs and alcohol. Fuck. I know this world well. 

Today I was asked what my 1st step to getting well was, was it therapy or the 12 steps, was it leaving an abusive relationship, or writing boldly about my life? What was it? 

I'm not sure. 

Therapy was huge for me. Reaching out was the last thing I wanted to do - I only did it becasue my best friend sort of made me, and I knew my life was on the line - I know now, that reaching out was the bravest thing I have ever done. Reaching out saved my life. I was dedicated whole heartedly to my therapy work, I went weekly for almost 2 years. Financially I was in no position to dive that deeply into therapy, but my life was on the line, and so I made it work. I had to. 

I don't know what was 1st to help me. I don;t know if it was the initial broken heart I endured at the loss of my Aussie Sailor that catapoulted me into a dark and faithless place that would end up actually being a great gift in my life. I don;t know if it was my total sumbersion into the world of plants, nutrition and elixirs. It may well have alot to do with the humans I surrounded myself with. or the books I read, or the words I wrote. It could have been the moments I reached out into a 1w step group, and found myself once again humbling asking for help. 

I don't know. 

I do know this though...

Mental Health is no joke. Addictions are fucking serious. And none of it should be embarrassing or shameful. We are all a bunch of messed up, beautiful humans trying to heal and walk one another home, and this journey is so.much.easier together. 

So for you who reads this tonight that has a hurting, broken heart. I see you and I love you. For those of you that are lost in abuse and you have forgotten your worth - trust me, you are worth every thing, you are so needed on this planet. Be brave. For those of you that can not - for the life of you - quit picking up that drink, or snorting those lines, or numbing out, suppressing, running away... please just know that there is help and your life matters. You really do matter. You do, trust me. For those of you that hate your minds, your bodies and your souls - give yourself a chance. For the depressed, anxious, irritable, mood swinging insomniacs - your a work of fucking art, don't give up on yourself. 

You are here, and that means you matter. You do not need to earn mattering, your very existence determines that you do in fact matter. It doesn't matter what you have done in the past, it doesn't matter how bad it has been - you still matter. Give yourself some compassion, forgive yourself. You are worthy. 

And above all, please know this: you are not alone. 

You can weather these stormy seas. One foot and then the next, one day at a time. And with some dedication to your healing, the clouds will part and life just may sparkle again.... if you give yourself a chance. 

I'm rooting for you. 

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j o u r n a l o n e | lessons from the float tank |

Thursday Morning.

I woke up early and did what I always do - I drove to the coffee shop. The ritual of the drive has become my morning prayer, I play soulful music and as I drive I talk to the heavens. My morning prayer is always the same: "Dear Universe, please use me in your name, I surrender." -- something along those lines. After prayers and coffee I headed home -- the sun had still not arisen -- to tend to my amazing pooches. Then I had a smoothie, drank some water, and got ready for my morning float session at One Love Float. I headed to my car -- the sun was now up, and the daylight created total clarity and blue skies -- as I got into my car I became aware of an invisible chip that had caused my whole windshield to crack right before my eyes. 

Obsessive as my nature is, I now had a topic to become totally fixated on. I drove to the float centre pissed off, overthinking, worrying about money, wondering how this could have happened to me. A mere crack in a silly windshield had now became a full blown poor me, why me story in my head. 

I arrive at the float centre for my 10am float, knowing full well that I am floating today with the intention of blogging afterwards. I take my shoes off, head to the open tank room -- also known as 'Ed' -- take off my clothes, have a shower, put my ear plugs in, say some prayers + intentions, and get into the tank. I opted for a shorter float (60 minutes, usually I float for 90 minutes) because after my float I had another super exciting adventure to head out on; filming with The Light Cellar. I lay in the tank, and instantly gravity is kyboshed by buoyancy due 1000lbs of salt, and I become weightless. It's so good. It feels like home, the water feels warm and familiar and I think to myself, 'This is going to be a good float, I’ll wrap this 60 min quickie up with some sweet nuggets of wisdom to post for the world to see'. And then I think, 'Oh shit, no wait. No expectations kori. Just be nothing. Be one with the water, and just see what shows up". I teetered between full blown expectations of float-tank-divine-intervention, and letting go of control, expectation, and the need to have the heavens drop down the "How to do Life Superb, Excellent and Perfect" manual. I shut the lights off, the music dimmed, and I sunk into the abyss of floating. 




The water is body temperature making it hard to distinguish where self ends and water begins; hard to feel where water ends and air begins. The float tank takes away the senses, it leaves self totally immersed with… well, self. And that is the whole pain and beauty of floating; nowhere to run, nowhere to hide for wherever we go, there we are.

Floating is really similar to what I would imagine it is like to be in the womb of our Mother. It's safe, warm, and deeply nourishing. Except one thing, my mind was on overdrive. I was obsessing about whatever I could obsess about, my mind was thinking, and chattering, and revving up in speed. I thought about work, and fears, and the future. I thought about business ideas, deadlifts, and my injured shoulder. I thought about why I kept floating to one side of the tank, and why it bothered me so much when my right foot would hit the edge of the tub. I thought about contraptions float tanks ought to be equipped with to ensure that no side-touching of the float tank walls was possible, you know, to ensure the perfect float. I thought about the crack, that stupid crack. How much are windshield to fix? And then I thought how stupid it is to obsess about a windshield – I’m certainly not going to let a windshield give me a damn kanipshin. Windshields don’t matter, I mean they do on the road, but not in the float tank. I came to a self-agreement -- we would let the windshield go, we would thank the lucky stars that we had a car to drive which means we had a windshield to crack, and we would leave it at that.

I become a ‘we’ when I have to talk myself through a dilemma.

So the windshield issues are gone, now to focus on my float.

Breathe Kori, just focus on your breath,  breathe in, and exhale -- let it all go -- in the moments I held enough attention to focus on the beauty of breath, I could feel the beating of my heart, and further I could hear the echo of the thump-thump-thump in the cavity of my ribcage; these are the moments humble me. Our human body is so intelligent, so wise, and so divine. It's complex, and fluid. It's strong and soft. It regenerates it self. It heals it self. There I was, in 11 inches of water and 1000lbs of salt -- floating -- what a miracle. I'm sure some would call it science, but I choose to go with miracle. 

Ugh but that stupid crack.

No wait, we agreed, no more windshield obsession.

Just breathe, Kori.

Oh my goodness is this float ever going to end?

60 minutes, or a lifetime, who knows anymore, I’ve likely turned to a prune it feels like I’ve been in here so long trapped with my own obsessive, restless mind. Oh my god kori, get it together, you have a wise blog post waiting on the other side of this float, just ... focus. 

I thought perhaps I was forgotten in the tank, maybe the timer wasn't set, and maybe it's a cruel trick. No, Treeka wouldn't do that, she knows I have magical elixir making on film with the light cellar after this. Maybe blogging should start next week, I'm over this, I will have nothing wise to say. No wait Kori, remember that even if you don't touch the face of god in this tank, and even if you are not catapulted to the dimensions of sage wisdom to take back to the earth plane and share with the homosapiens, you are still laying in 1000lbs of salt. 

Epsom Salts is what’s used in the tank, this salt is known for it’s heavy Magnesium content. Magnesium is relaxing on the body, muscles, and nervous system. I don't have to be in a deep meditative state to reap the rewards of this medicine, in fact, one hour in a float tank is meant to be equivalent to 4 hours of deep sleep -- check my stats here people, I went memory on that one, my point is that it’s super restful.

What a waste of a float. 

And then the music came on -- that’s how the floater is signaled that the float is done -- and surprisingly, I started to weep. I lay in the tank, in the dark, totally naked, and I cried. I cried for a whole song. And then the next song came on, I turned the light on, sat up in the fetal position with my head bowed and I wept. Tears flowing for no apparent reason, but it felt good.

Then I got up feeling a little shocked at my emotions after what I had deemed as a "waste of time float", I showered slowly. My heart felt tender, my emotions were raw. I felt humbled, and still. 

I then sat on the couch, puled out the notes in my phone, and wrote. 

Here are today's lessons from the float tank:

60 min felt like a lifetime today.

Training in slowness is more painful than training for a marathon. I was itchy, unsettled, & flooded with infinite thoughts. 

I went in with no expectations and yet, I still expected great ah-ha moments, visualization, divine guidance. 

But nothing - or so it seemed - other than me, 1000 lbs of salt, a tank full of water, a dark room, and a restless chatty mind. 

But there was one thing I saw, there was a little girl who sat under some sort of a tree, maybe an olive tree, in a meadow filled with calmness and flowers. I was curious about her in the flickering moments I was able to concentrate. She was here with me last float too. I’m certain she is a part of me, a calm, foreign part of me. She was serene, unbothered by my restlessness. She didn’t even seem to notice me hovering around, trying to sniff out what her purpose was, and catch a glimmer of her face. 

She just sat there. 




The field this little person sat in was still , not even a slight breeze, and the olive tree she sat under was lifelessly motionless - except that it was filled with life. 

I thought I was forgotten in the float tank. It was like I was in there for an infinite time. Part of me wanted to quit, get up, shower and leave. But the other part of me was content in that water, happy to be in the womb of a tank - close to self, close to the infinite void. 

The little girl under the olive tree was fleeting, she made up only about .0000000001% of my float, the rest was restlessness. I thought that perhaps this would be a float I would walk away with no lessons learnt.

Then the music came back on, and I opened my eyes and started to cry. I cried weightless in the tank, only adding more salt tear by tear. I turned the dim blue light back on and I sat up, naked, in the fetal position - listening to more music - and I continued to cry. 

You see, the work is not always known to us. Sometimes it’s deeper than we can imagine. Often the work is a total act of faith. 

There is something profound to me about the waters of a float tank, actually water in general, I don’t know why it’s so healing, I’m not totally sure why I am so drawn to it; but it has been in the dark cocoon of the frustrating float tank that I have been able to touch the face of god. 

I wrapped today’s 60 minutes up weeping and speaking out loud in prayer to the heavens. 

I don’t know what goes happens on a molecular, spiritual level in those waters, but I always walk away a little more softened. 

As for that girl under the olive tree, I shall continue to get to know her - her peace is so attractive to me.

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december journal {one} 345 days, here i am.

Sobriety has been on my brain alot these past few days, it’s felt rather heavy. I like to talk about this topic, not for a pat-on-the-back, but because addiction is a topic that so many of us are struggling with, and not enough of us are talking about it.

I'm a recovering alcoholic, that's no secret. I've lived this truth out loud since the second denial let up long enough for me to see, and admit, the truth about the way I am wired.

I didn't hit "rock bottom" in the sense that I lost everything. I didn't live under a bridge, or drink from a brown paper bag, or wait for the liquor store to open each morning. Hell, I didn't even drink every day - not even close. I wasn’t the stereotype of what an “addict looks like”.

In fact, I was at a wedding last week, when asked, “You don’t drink anything? Like as in, nothing at all? .... Why??”, I responded, “I am a recovering alcoholic”, too which her response was, “No way. I don’t believe you.”

It’s sad, and humorous all at once.

What’s not to believe? If I said, “I have a diabetes”, would we – as a society – question that? Would we say, “No way? You can’t, I simply can’t believe that”. Likely not. So why then do we do this with addiction? Why have we created a “one size fits all model” for what the face of addiction looks like?

It's taken me 345 days to be able to look at the realities of my “face of addiction”. Sure, I never hit the rock bottom I described above, but I can see now with total clarity that I was bogged down in my own version of rock bottom. My life was totally unmanageable, my thoughts were trapped in darkness, and the darkness won the battle every.single.time. Not only that, but the insanity of drinking was taking a drastic grip on my soul; alcohol made me so sick. Sanity would say ‘stop’, but addiction told me to keep going. Addiction told me that this time it would be different.

It was never different.

It just got worse.

The worse it got, the deeper the shame I felt, the deeper the shame, the more I isolated, and emotionally shut down.

The cycle was insane.

My last year of drinking and using was dark. It was so dark. I could not seem to get a grip on myself; all I wanted to do was die. I had spent the previous few years in therapy working hard at my sanity, growth, and personal development. 2016 was the year that all of that work seemed to begin slipping out of my hands, it was as if I was standing atop a landslide and as my sanity slipped away, it felt there was nothing I could do about it.

I was embarrassed.

I was ashamed of myself.

I was confused.

I felt so deeply alone.

But the thing is... I was not under a bridge, I had a job, I had a marriage, and a life, and I drank good wine out of nice glasses and never alone.. well, almost never. I couldn't be an addict, I just could not believe it. I didn't fit the stereotype. 

So then, why was this happening to me?

Maybe I had just become too sensitive, yeah, that must have been it. Maybe I simply had to cut booze out like I had cut gluten, dairy, and eggs. Maybe it was just an allergy. Maybe it was so simple. But I tried to cut it out, and it didn’t work. It made me sick - I knew that much - but why couldn’t I stop? And when I did plan to drink a moderate 1-2 glasses of wine I obsessed about it all evening long. Why? How come when I controlled my drinking, it wasn’t fun. And when I didn’t control my drinking, it turned into a nightmare half the time, or maybe more.

It was hell.

I went through the entirety of 2016 battling this insane issue. I felt desperately alone, I felt like a fraud. I was loosing connections in my life, I was angry and scared, but I was hooked – I couldn’t stop, and further, I actually could not see that I had a problem. For real. I know it sounds totally crazy, and it is; that’s alcoholism – an allergy of the body and an obsession of the mind – and for those of us with this disease, denial runs deep. Real deep.

December 22, 2016 arrived, this would end up being the day that my life changed. Perhaps one day I will tell this story in detail, but for now, I will just say that on this particular night – after arriving home from family Christmas dinner with my (now ex) husband – I found myself naked, on my knees, in tears, begging life for help. This was the night that I would finally surrender; I would finally admit that something is not right at all with how my body interacts with substances.

December 22, 2016 I admitted defeat. 

January 1, 2017 was my 1st 12-step meeting.

It was single handedly the scariest thing I have ever done, and to be honest, I can not tell you why I did it - some kind of powerful force had entered my life, and somehow, for some reason, I became willing to listen. There I was, in a coffee scented room, scared shitless, unsure what was happening to me or why I was there.

There I was, barley sober, scared shitless. 

And here I am now, 345 days later. Still newly sober, still scared, but no longer "shitless scared". 

Early in sobriety I was told, “Not much will have to change… just everything”; there was enormous wisdom in that advise. At the time I did not believe that would be my fate, I figured I would quit the Kim Crawford on the weekends the same way I quit eating eggs, and march off into the sunset.

No big deal.

But it was a big deal, a really big deal as it turns out.

There was no pink cloud, there was no sunset, and there was barley any light as I moved through this painful process of cellular recalibration. There were countless meetings that I sat in surrounded by a room of strangers drinking bottomless cups of coffee, crying in my seat, wondering when this would get easier, and why it hurt so badly. I wondered why my thoughts were so itchy, and dark. I wondered when the obsession to drink would leave me. I did what I was told to do. I read my book, I went to meetings, and I got down on my knees. I became willing, I shut up and listened, I found some humility.

And then it happened, 111 days into my sobriety journey, my husband called me over the phone, and he left our marriage.

Just like that.


The ground was ripped out from below my very feet, my foundation fell apart, and my world caught on fire. I have never felt so broken, or so betrayed in all of my life. The human who I thought was “my person” left. And it made no sense, and it was so enormous, and there was nothing I could do. Once again, I stood helpless in a world that was changing its form faster than I could comprehend, and in ways I desperately didn’t want it to change. My heart was broken. My trust was lit on fire. And I stood there, amongst the flames of my own life, naked, vulnerable, in enormous pain, and I waited there to see what would happen. I knew I could drink to ease the pain, I knew there was that option. Or, I could do what I had never done -- I could surrender --  I could fall to my knees amidst this gigantic forest fire, and I could wait and see what lays on the other side.

Perhaps the flames would burn me alive.

But then again, maybe they wouldn’t.

Day after day, moment after moment, and breath after breath, I stood in that fire and waited. I felt the scold of the heat; I felt the moments of panic when I thought the flames would burn me alive. I felt other moments where the pain in my heart was so all encompassing that I debated jumping into the fire myself. Anything to stop the pain. I went to meetings. I cried endless tears. I ate cacao, I crafted with cacao. I prayed. I ran stairs. I wrote, and wrote, and wrote. I wrote words so dark and scary, that only my journal could bare witness. I worked with my therapist, my traditional Chinese doctor, and my energy workers. I called my mum 50 times a day to ask her to remind me that I would be ok, I needed my mum as a 33 year old woman, more than I had ever needed her in all of my life. I messaged my girlfriend hundreds of times a day, I needed her to remind me over, and over, and over again to slow down and breathe. I found a home in fetal position; I carved a path in the pooch park as I took one-foot-and-then-the-next, again-and-again, day-by-day searching for gratitude. I followed my brother around all summer long – we slack lined, and danced. We bought costumes and travelled to burning man – he was my light, he was my life force.

Here I am.

345 days into the most transformative journey I have ever endured.

Here I am.

It the darkest days, I vowed to surrender to grief. I vowed to remain self-loyal. I vowed that I would be willing and teachable; I promised myself that I would stay present to the lessons that life was offering me. I promised myself to show up, I promised myself that I would be brave.

And I was.

Here I am, 345 days in.

I have learned that addiction is sneaky, and has many faces. I’ve learned that staying ‘dry’ is significantly different that engaging in quality sobriety. I have learned that this life is a great mystery, and that our human hearts can endure far more than we would ever imagine. I learnt to pray, to hand my life over to divine will. I’ve learnt that my soul is a fucking warrior, and I’m grateful I was gifted my soul – I don’t know how I have managed these past 7 years, but I have, and not only have I merely managed, I have chosen to rise.

I am not bitter.

I am not angry.

I am learning to love again. I am learning to trust this life again. I am learning to share my heart once again.

I am filled to the brim with faith, with love, with a tender heart. I can forgive it all. I can forgive myself, and I can forgive a love that turned down the unexpected pathway.

That forest fire failed to burn my soul, it failed to swallow me whole. Instead, the heat of that fire became the greatest teacher I have even known, that fire burnt my life to the ground in the most pain, magical way possible. That fire, that grief, that intense betrayal opened me; it softened me, it changed me. That fire nearly killed me, but you see, it didn’t. That’s the most important thing, it didn’t take me down, it didn’t harden me, it didn’t even make me resentful. It taught me faith, willingness, trust. That forest fire was the most beautiful thing that as happened to me.

Tonight I sat down to write a small FB post on addiction. Today I have been overwhelmed with heartache for the journey that I have been walking. Tonight, I needed to write some words to articulate some heart feelings, and as it turns out I had much more to say than I thought.

To those of you who struggle, I see you. I love you. Keep going. Be brave enough to ask for help, be humble enough to accept it. We are all human walking a strange and twisty human path, there is nothing to be ashamed of.

For those of you who are in the throws of grief, I see you. I love you. Grief is a fierce teacher, and if you can find the courage to surrender in her tight grip, she will transform you, she will open you, she will recalibrate you. Keep going. The clouds will part… I promise you.

345 days in.

Here I am.

Sobriety has been the single hardest, most transformative, best choice I have ever made. It changed me, recalibrated, me and made me new, and for that I am deeply grateful.

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