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I’ve spent so much of my life running from uncomfortable places inside of me. It’s been a hard road of unpacking what and who is safe. Learning how to stretch myself, when to bend, when to hold strong, when to stay and keep investigating, and when to throw the towel in and say goodbye. In becoming a mother to a little girl I get the gift of viewing it through the eyes of how do I model boundaries and self love. I can see in so many ways, often the things I would allow for myself I would never suggest for her to accept.

We take on familial mythologies without even knowing that we are the byproducts of continuing a cycle that is so harmful to ourselves, and consequently our children. We play out these dramas unconsciously until one day we wake up and say “actually, no more. Im turning left instead of right this time”.

I have so many practices that have supported me feeling safe, meditation certainly at the forefront, but no less important that watching a ridiculous Rom-Com first thing on a Sunday morning. Building an inner refuge for myself has been an ongoing process of architecture, from repairing structural damage to rearranging the furniture, to buying new pieces to see if the are a good fit and having the freedom to return anything that doesn’t feel groovy.

My inner refuge is a space of deep value for myself. The self that I am in all of my joyful, sarcastic, kind, cynical, generous, funny, curious, silly, thoughtful nature.

I have come to believe that creating a safe space inside of ourselves might be the most radical action we can take as humans. Within this space there is the chance of really and truly loving ourselves for the selves that we are. This is no simple thing.

Often accompanied with this huge step of loving ourselves, is disappointing another and disrupting the unspoken agreements that we are in with the people who have raised us, been in partnership with us, or who need us to stay in some sort of role so change does not happen. Such a courageous step to choose ourselves over these complicated structures that are in place. Change doesn’t happen without change. It is a powerful life embracing step to say no when the inner refuge will be harmed to not do so. Im slowly learning how to do this.

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