{FAILED} plans

Truth: I’m a bit freaked out here to sit down and write because my last post was so resonating with so many humans, I am afraid that this post will suck.

 Does the ego ever give us a fucking break?

 I’m writing anyway.


Here is the truth about where I am at right now: I am emotionally exhausted, and it is taking a lot of focus to stay in the realm of trust. This past year has been nothing short of an adventure with my bearded man, and with my personal growth.

I had a dream. I dreamt of a magical life in the forest in BC. I wanted off-grid living and isolation. I craved the idea of living at one with Mother Earth and spending my days tending to my garden, foraging for wild plants and making healing potions. I literally fantasize about connection to mycelium and trees and all beautiful creatures. I met a man who wanted the same things.

So, we went after it.

I am not afraid to chase a goal. I love taking risks.

Last December, I quit my job, said farewell to my clients, sold my car and took a wild leap of faith. We lived out there in the winter months for January and February. I love rain, but not grey days every day. It hurt my soul, and I wondered if perhaps I prayed enough that I would become like the moss: thriving in the wet grey conditions. I hated it, but I wanted it to work so bad; this was my dream and I felt ashamed to say that it was not actually resonating for me.

Pic: Donna Sherwood 

Pic: Donna Sherwood 

In March we came home to save up for our wedding. Just before coming home I did my 1st major public speaking event, and although it rattled my nerves to my core, I loved it. I was alongside some real academics and I was freaking right out, but I walked away with zest in my soul. I felt the fear, and I did it anyway. This opportunity would lead me to 2 more major speaking/program development events in 2015 with companies I would have never dreamed of working with!

We spent March-August in Calgary. I was couch surfing, while Shane lived in Edmonton. The long distance was hard, the couch surfing and lack of stability was really, really taxing on my soul. But I was teaching bootcamp, and surrounded daily by humans that I loved, my tribe.

August we got married, and I suggested that instead of Victoria (the original plan) we go back to the forest and live there and save. We had a dream of owning a sustainable farm, and I figured it would be valid to take some permaculture courses, so that we could accomplish our dream.


 Side note: I am notorious for suddenly changing courses in my life, never really getting anywhere other than deeper into frustration and depression.


Our honeymoon was amazing; we frolicked in the forest and fell deeper in love. We drank wine, and saw whales. It was magic. But as the days went on at the cabin my mood became darker and darker. 1st the truck broke, and then the engine on the boat broke. I rolled my ankle badly, 4 times (!!). I was longing for humans, my humans, my tribe. I missed bootcamps. I wanted to coach people. I was falling into a deep sense of loneliness. Most of my days were filled with tears, and questioning why were there. I wanted to make this work, so bad. So, so bad. This was my dream. I had the courage to follow the dream, why was it feeling like such shit? Every day Shane tried to cheer my up, every day the tears took over and the distance shielded my heart.

I worked hard to make it work. I developed a schedule and routine. I did yoga and meditation. I sat with my fav tree and meditated, daily. I sat in front of the ocean and read A Course In Miracles each morning. I cooked. I made elixirs. I blogged. I hiked. I took in the beauty, and practiced gratitude. I read books I loved. I trained our new puppy. I had date nights and wine with my bearded man. I took breaks and went to Vancouver.... but, nothing was working for me to match my soul to that style of living, no matter how hard I tried and deep down I felt like a fraud and a failure. 

I needed humans. I am a human-leader. I love to lead and teach.

So we started on the vision of getting into Victoria. 3 weeks into the hunt there was no bites on a single place.  But, Victoria was always my dream. I knew we can make this work, I just knew it.

I spent hours looking for a place in Victoria. I spent time swimming upstream trying to understand three university level botany and soil courses I was taking, all for a dream I was truly not sure if I wanted anymore. I was fucking mad at life, again. Why do I always seem to wined up in this space?

People were messaging me on social media daily to tell me that my life looked like magic. And daily I struggled to find joy. I loved where I was. I worshiped the trees and the sun and the soil and the whales. I meditated every morning. I did yoga and journaling. I set up a retreat. I was living the exact dream I had set up for myself, and I was slipping hard into a dark place.

And let me tell you this, this is not an environment conducive to the success of a brand new marriage. My absolute priority right now is a) my own self love and b) that my new marriage gets every ounce of nourishment it needs to thrive and succeed.

Failure. Shame. That’s all I could think. I sucked at my potential. My life would be a waste. I suck at being human. I suck at being a wife. I’m a shitty student of nature.

The self-hatred was taking over, and it was taking a major toll. I was loosing faith, and negative talk was screaming loudly, and constantly in my ears. I was loosing self worth.

Why do we do that? Why do we get so stubborn that we have to prove something? Who the fuck are we proving this something to? And more importantly, at what cost does our stubbornness come? Is self-hate worth it? Loosing faith, worth it? 

So here is what I am learning:

Surrender is an art.

Surrender takes an immense amount of courage, and a double dose of vulnerability.

It takes a lot of fucking faith.

Surrender takes tenacity to keep going and keep dreaming.

Surrender is about knowing your soul and what it needs. It means we take the guidance of the universe, we listen to the subtle whispers.

So, it is with intense courage and nudie tudie vulnerability that I am coming home. I am listening to the path with the least resistance, because I am tired of swimming upstream. I want to spend my very valuable energy following my passions and shining my bright light in the world. No one is going to do it for me. It’s my job to shine; I am here for divine reasons. (so are YOU!)

That job you have, or the course, or relationship... that thing that feels like a constant uphill battle, get rid of it. Spend your time on things that light you up. I am not saying that life will be a simple walk in the park, because it wont. Being human is damn hard, but I am saying that it is crucial that we start to notice when doors close and the path becomes one of gripping, force and sheer determination. It's also important to see where there is ease, and doors are opening (in this story that would be: speaking opportunities, marriage, bootcamp, tribe). Surrender is an art, a valuable art to learn. 

The beauty in our choice: we made the decision to come home and within 24 hours we had a home, I had a new job and I have 4 new coaching clients who want to be booked, plus bootcampers emailing me asking when i am starting the next round.

When you surrender, divine things happen.

I learned a lot in the forest. Perhaps most important is this: I have always wanted to build a commune, and perhaps I already have.