Photo Credit: Josie Strong Photography
This month my Mastermind Mamas and I are reading Elizabeth Lesser’s Marrow and the book has had so many profound takeaways for me. Lesser uses her experience with being a donor for her sister’s bone marrow transplant as a way to raise bigger questions about what it means to be part of this human journey called life and how to show up authentically. She talks about putting your soul in charge of your life and how when you do that anything is possible.
“That is what happens when you put your soul in charge of your life. You dare to claim the sky. That sky is different for everyone. For one person, maybe the sky is having a baby, being a parent, growing a family. But for another it's never having kids; it's traveling the globe; it's saving the world... You know your sky. And if you don't, it's because you haven't listened closely enough.”
― Elizabeth Lesser, Marrow: A Love Story
This past week I got an email that rocked my world in an unexpected way. It wasn’t an email from Elizabeth Lesser (although I totally have gotten one of those and that was amazing--more to come on that if you’re interested), but this one was from Gmail-- that my storage was full and I needed to create space.
Create space? My unsophisticated and technologically inept mind thought that things like space on Gmail was just infinite. I mean I honestly hadn’t deleted emails in years. 8 years to be precise is what I discovered on this unexpected journey, which occured on the summer solstice no less because that is how my life works (#synchronicities).
And so I began “creating space”--I started deleting, reading---reflecting. I realized that I had, despite what my inner mean girl tells me, in fact accomplished a lot in the past 8 years. I had been married, separated, and reconciled. I had moved out of state--twice--(still had emails from rental agreements in North Carolina and about job postings all up the east coast). I had become a certified life coach, a Montessori educator, a homeowner (a few times), and a mom of 2. There were so many things that 8 years ago Jen could only dream of that I had accomplished.
I also realized that there were so many things that were still energetically holding me back. I had about 8 years worth of emails stuck in that inbox. Lost friendships and deaths of family members. News of a friend’s cancer diagnosis. Translating my uncle’s death in Italian to alert relatives. Condolences for my miscarriage. Emails about how bittersweet it was that my daughter was born and my uncle died 9 days later. An email about a friend who lost her sister.
8 years worth of memories. 8 years worth of baggage. 8 years worth of life lessons.
I continued deleting and reading, and reflecting.
And all of that got me to thinking--was my soul in charge of my life? Was my life reflecting my priorities? And what did I need to release to actually be present in my life?
Lesser’s book and my experience with physically and mentally creating space has also got me thinking about the stories we tell ourselves. My mom has always told me that there are 3 sides to every story: yours, the other person’s, and the truth--and that has stuck with me. Everything is based on our own subjectivity of a situation. Everything is based on the lens through which we see the world. Everything is based on our version of the truth.
Too often we allow our “inner mean girl”, pain body, or fear based ego be in charge. Too often we spend time putting ourselves down about what we have not accomplished. Too often we spend time comparing ourselves to others. Too often we spend time speaking unkindly to ourselves and wishing we were further along on the path than we are.
But those are all just stories.
After this little journey, I gave myself and my Mastermind Mamas an assignment, to write a letter to ourselves reflecting and appreciating all that we have experienced. To write to ourselves as if our souls were in charge of our lives. Here is a little excerpt that I think we could all benefit from:
You are truly an inspiration and the heroine of your own journey. You may compare yourself to others but you need to stop that--because no one has walked where you have walked or navigated what you have navigated. You are committed to living your real life and being your best self. Committed to the here and now. Does it always work 100% the way you want it to? No way, but you have found a way to see beauty in it all--to appreciate all that you are experiencing in this life and to realize that somehow you are still living out dreams that belong to you and you alone.
And it’s okay to continue to have dreams but don’t be frustrated by the fact that you haven’t completed them yet. Remember sometimes the magic is in the mystery and the joy is in the journey. 8 years ago Jen had dreams and how sweet has it been to look back and see the path that needed to be taken for those to come to fruition?
I am so damn proud of you and want you to know that this is just the beginning! Don’t forget to be where you are and love where you’ve been.
That is what it looks like to have my soul in charge--something I don't let happen nearly enough.
And of course I don’t have all the answers to my questions just yet, and maybe I never will--but I do know it is something that I will continue to explore personally and surrounded by like-minded soul sisters. I will continue to remind myself to let my soul be in charge and guide me and to continue to seek out those who will help my soul to shine daily.
My favorite part of belonging to and running a mastermind is holding space for transformations to occur and in that space keeping myself accountable through vulnerable leadership. I love being able to read new thoughts and integrate them in my life. That is when my soul shines its brightest.
Sometimes along the human journey, we all need the reminder to pause and look back. We need to speak kinder, especially to ourselves. We need the space to clear all that is holding us back and make sure that our soul is truly in charge. We need to challenge the stories we tell ourselves. And we need to surround ourselves with the people that will hold us accountable to doing it all in a vulnerable and safe space.
Now back over to you with these questions. Comment below:
What spaces and places are holding you back energetically?
Is your soul in charge of your life?
Does your life reflect your priorities?
What do you need to release to Be. Here. Now?
Do you have a soul tribe where you can be your authentic self?
And bonus assignment: write yourself the letter. Read and re-read it often. Come back to this assignment weekly, monthly, quarterly--find ways to let your soul shine in your life more often.
Jackie and I have open enrollment in our Mastermind Mama Program now through June 30th, so if you’d like to have daily conversations like this with us, we’d love for you to join us. More info here: