When I was young, I realized I had a natural duality. I found that within my choices and life path, I could easily recognize the available channels that seemed somewhat contradictory at times. This is human nature. We are not completely “either/or” packages. Our hearts, minds – our individual souls – are intrinsically rich landscapes that can not be easily defined. That’s not to say we don’t have our strong preferences and convictions. These dualities are beautifully intertwined, living entities that adapt and evolve as we travel through life.
I am an introverted extrovert. When I first discovered this term, I was so excited. As a child, I loved dancing. I acted in plays in high school. I have always worked in positions interacting with a client, customer, student, or group of people. Yet, despite this track record, I identified myself as an introvert. Discovering the spectrum of introversion to extroversion, I realized how little I trusted labels. It’s all relative, right?
Yin and Yang. Yin, the slower, softer, darker energy. Yang, the faster, brighter, sharper of the two. Simple enough? Perhaps. But let’s consider walking on a forest trail on a sunny afternoon. You may consider this very “yin” – simple, relaxing, and meditative. Yet, compared to a nap in a cozy blanket nest on a gray day, that forest walk lends itself to the Yang. It’s all relative, and it’s all fluid.
Maybe now you can begin to brainstorm an endless list of Yin vs. Yang in your own life. I loved doing this, noticing the natural peaks and valleys of all parts of living. It became a habit of self-awareness, and a fun way to think about personality dynamics. And maybe now you’re realizing that these dualities are sometimes bigger and more complex than your personal characteristics.
In March of 2017, my mom passed away. I was blindsided and numb, changed forever. Losing her cracked me open and I began to slowly fall into a role that felt both larger and smaller than I was before. It felt like the sky had been torn away and now it was my job to replace it. The vulnerability and surprising strength that came from this time of my life have become influential in so much of what I do today. After grieving (what an inappropriately short and simple word), I was set into motion. I now had two compartments – My Grief and the rest of life. How could I tie these two together without falling apart again? Grief began to dance with all that I did, and it slowly became a productive driving force for my writing, my teaching, and a deeper sense of gratitude. It became essential that I made space for ease, for slowness, for love and compassion while not getting stuck in an emotional black hole. A fine balance of feeling what I needed to feel while doing and going and moving. A steady and tender softness working together with an ignited purpose. This is Grace + Fire.
My life experiences led me here and I teach what I’m living and learning. I pursue harmony and balance. As I began writing a description for Grace + Fire, the words “intelligent and soulful” came rolling out first. This project comes from substance and meaning. My mind, my heart, my love, and the things that affect me most deeply are all poured into the work that I do, and I can’t wait to continue into life with you all. ❤