It was a year ago that I was in the forest living at the cabin on the ocean and preparing for the first real "sleep-over" retreat I had ever led. It was a magical retreat with the brisk and cool october ocean air as women gathered deep in the woods to unleash their wild spirits and beating hearts in union and sisterhood -- alot of growth and learning happened for many of the women who participated -- myself included.
I had been at the cabin for a few months prior to the retreat feeling desperately lost as to what the hell my life path was supposed to be. Here I was just married to a man I adore and feeling as though the pursuit of the dream we cumulatively had was failing. I was desperately lonely and so much of the parts to my self-care regime were missing and it felt so dark and so disappointing. All I've ever wanted with Shane was to have land where we could live sustainably -- I've dreamt for so long about being a witch in the forest crafting healing potions and worshiping the moon and mycelium. This felt like it should have been a dream come true. What the fuck was wrong with me, how could I not see the blessings I had for this was exactly what I wanted. At the time I was even in the process of studying soil horticulture and botany -- both were intense university level courses -- they were overwhelming and far to in-depth for what I wanted but I did it becasue this was everything we wanted. Until it wasn't of course -- until I tried it on and realized it didn't fit for me.
I felt like I was failing. Once again it felt like my magpie self had taken over the show to chase down a shiny and exciting object and left me depleted and questioning my purpose, worthiness and path.
Two weeks before the retreat took place -- over thanksgiving weekend, in fact -- I came home to Calgary to get a dose of human interaction and to participate in a Simply Woman Retreat with Crystal Andrus Morissette; she had personally invited me and I knew in my gut that big medicine was going to happen, so I went without hesitation. The first Simply Woman Retreat I attended was December of 2013 and it was a game changer for me and a pivotal piece to the puzzle in my strength to leave the last hell-hole relationship I was in. The Retreat in 2015 proved to be no different for my soul. At the end of the Retreat all of the women present had so sit at the "front of the circle" next to Crystal and profess -- with a mic and witnesses in hand -- what our next courageous step would be. I remember clearly trying to play small and Crystal -- knowing me well -- called me out on it and pushed me to greater heights. She encouraged me to get real about what my soul mission is and to play big; she encouraged me to get out into the world and 'tell my story'. She asked me personal questions in front of the whole group of women:
"Kori, there was a time in your life that you didn't know self love, wasn't there? -- Tell us about that time"; I replied with a shortened version of my dark story and experience in an abusive and dysfunctional relationship. She then asked me, "what did you learn from it?"; of course my eyes light up when I explain to any human what the true gifts of that experience were:
I found me.
I fell in love with... me.
I found an ability to sit in discomfort.
I learned what self-compassion is.
I found divinity in darkness.
I learned the power of self-love and self-care.
She then said "what do you want to do with that"?
"I want to teach the women. I want to hold space for the women to understand the power of self-care, the life altering benefits of self-love"
And she said, "what else?"
"I want to teach the women the importance of masturbation and receiving pleasure. I want to teach the women on a global level the power of sisterhood...." and I went on and on.
I have no doubt that Crystal is a part of my life designed as an angel in disguise who teaches me an immense amount of life lessons of all sorts of magnitude. I went home that very night and I got really real and a told my story and I posted it for the world to see. I have never seen such a huge reaction from women -- my inbox was flooded with personal accounts from numerous women, mostly strangers who opened their hearts with bravery to share their stories with me.
I knew in this very moment that what I had vocalized to the women that October afternoon was exactly what my life's mission was to be.
It's actually funny to look back -- I knew all along that my life's mission had to do with women and self-care -- I knew this from the very moment I entered my first nutrition class at SAIT when i was 20 years old. The timing and the course would turn out to be different that what I had planned. My 'schooling' so to speak was going to have to be 'out-of-the-classroom' and into a real practical situation for my soul to truly get it. I was going to have to enter into a tumultuous three years where I would be stripped of every single mask I ever wore, every single lie I told and every single comfort I held onto. I was going to have to abandon self in order to -- in the end -- find self. I was going to have to fall into such darkness in order to find and experience the light. I was going to have to surrender into utter self-hatred before my soul would truly learn and understand what self-care, self-compassion and self forgiveness would look like -- only then would I be able to hold space for the women of the world.
My secret power would lay in the fact that my soul is the wounded warrior -- my medicine for the world is my intimate experience with this dark place. My medicine would turn out to be that I am the same as you, I struggle like you do, I know this dark space better than I know most things -- my medicine is that I have to care for self, I have to walk the walk of the wounded and healing warrior. Life schooled me through not only an abusive relationship but via gifting me a therapist who I have come to dedicate so very much of my time and energy to learning and taking every ounce of wisdom I possible can from him.
Ah-Ha moments only last for so long and then life and doubt and worry can over-shadows the light which is in part what happened to me last October. Same shit showed up for me; the same old ways of thinking:
Who am I to lead women?
Who the fuck are you Kori to think you have any medicine for the world?
And then the Retreat happened right in Shane's and my own home on the ocean and something big shifted in me that weekend -- the worthiness story got old. We had an exercise with a guest speaker where we had to tell a partner our story about worthiness; the story started out of my lips started the same ol' way it usually did -- I am not worthy because.... x....y...z. And then it happened -- I suddenly stopped talking, wiped my tears away and literally was flooded with the feeling of boredom listening to my own broken-record-story.
It was like 'enough is enough' -- shit or get off the pot Kori.
And so it began that very weekend -- I chose courage. I made a conscious effort daily to choose the yearning of my soul, to tell my story, to remind myself that "I am worthy of everything coming my way". And my business was born; my niche was born; my motto and mission were born. None of them were born out of exterior work or puling ideas from the starts -- this was all born based on .... me. On my experience, my medicine, my life and heart and soul and love.
And so today I am flooded with incredible gratitude for the teachers I have encountered; the mentors I have that have held space and seen my true light and potential; the humans who have come and gone from my life leaving me with ample opportunity to practice boundaries, self-care, forgiveness and grace; to my clients and the women that trust my voice, my process -- my heart; and to myself for fucking showing up, for playing big, for taking God up on the call-to-action for my soul.
I'm feeling humbled and grateful for the great cosmic void that we are all so intimately and importantly a part of. THANK YOU for walking this path with me.
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