I have recently been asked on a few separate occasions what’s behind “Evoking Grace,” the new name for my Coaching Business.
While I tried to resist giving too much info away in the past, I’ve now decided to come clean and open my heart to my readers & clients.
The story goes that last year I had a fall from grace.
No fluffy words about it.
I managed to make a big mess of a situation that was meant to stay small & insignificant, while I let it build up into some sort of fictional drama that would have put Downton Abbey to shame.
My mother in law, for reasons that no one will ever know, suddenly decided she wanted me out of her life completely; making it very clear by initially not sending me a birthday card and present like she’d had done for the last 10 years or so, then confirming it via my husband.
It wouldn’t have been so bad if the whole family hadn’t had lunch just a month prior to my birthday, when she deliberately chose not to tell me how upset she really was with me and how long the whole thing had been going on in her head (apparently it had already been a good 6 months!).
When we parted that day, little did I know what was about to happen and how much our lives will change forever.
Before you wonder, no I never was one of those who only have ill words towards their in-laws.
Quite the contrary in fact!
I always took pride in how I managed to build a very civil and pleasant relationship despite the differences in culture and the fact that my husband, in primis, was not really close to them at all.
After my birthday I was informed that I was being punished for being too confrontational (me? no way…) and how moving forward I would not be included in Holiday Celebrations, Birthdays, anything really.
To say I was fuming is an understatement.
I felt deceived, victimized and mortified.
I was pleasant to my mother in law and always spared a nice word, while the rest of the family had labelled her as cruel and untrustworthy.
But me being me, I ignored them all to prove a point, which is that in each one of us there is a “little me” waiting to be held and accepted.
My ego was badly bruised because I had failed to recognize the signs: me, the super coach, had totally been blinded by my assumed knowledge and failed to see how this person’s heart was never going to open, not to me, or anyone else, because it was probably not her path to do so in this life time.
I had a choice.
I could have chosen to observe what was unfolding and not get involved.
I could have remained neutral and sent her my good wishes, knowing she must have been in pain.
I could have opted to follow my intuition, which was begging me to zip it up and get out of there as quickly as I could.
I obviously chose none of the above.
Instead I chose to throw myself into a senseless drama with the force of a wounded animal, desperate to get my pride back.
The more I kicked, the further my pride went away.
I demanded revenge.
I demanded to have my truth heard.
How dare she walk all over my “niceness” and throw me in the bin like I was just anyone? Did she even know who I am, I wondered? Did she know I have been on a spiritual path ever since I could breathe and things like this are not meant to happen to the likes of me?
I wanted my mother in law to acknowledge the damage she had caused and how fortunate she was to have me in her family (seriously, this really went through my mind…a couple of times!)
I was fuming and there was no stopping me.
Days went on, and so did my mind…over & over again, the same details, completely lost in a sea of resentment and anger.
I never spoke to her again.
She died of Leukaemia 2 months later.
How could I have missed the obvious?
How could I have forgotten that death never gives us the chance to make amends for our poor choices while it only leaves us with all the pain we felt and spoke of?
When I went to say goodbye to her on her deathbed, I promised to my whole being that from then on I’d know better.
From that moment on I’d use every opportunity to evoke the best in myself and others, to choose grace and growth, even in the midst of pain.
I made that commitment to my own soul, knowing that I will be tested along the way.
Many times I shall fall and many times I shall rise, making it a bit easier than the time before.
And if I can help others to gracefully navigate the stormy waters of life, mine will be a very happy heart.
So how do we suddenly turn into feathers and bring lightness into our lives?
If you have been as graceful as an elephant so far, chances are you’ll have quite a few stumbles at first, so play small to begin with.
- OBSERVE what’s unfolding. Trust that we never really get to see the big picture and there is always more than meets the eye. No matter how upsetting things are, by simply observing with no judgement you will allow yourself to gain a better understanding of what happened.
- CHOOSE to remove yourself from the situation and use ways to find your space and get neutral again. Whatever has the power to calm your monkey-mind, do that. I meditate every day, but some folks swear by swimming, cooking, or anything that keeps them focused for more than a couple of seconds.
- ACT When you are calmer, choose actions aimed to the good of all those involved not just to your battered ego. Ask yourself “what can I do to make things work better right now?” Most of all, remember to keep your bearings knowing that you can only be responsible for your own actions and well being.
And if you could remember to honor yourself for your courage in wanting to grow and how we are all learning here at the school of life, that will be a very graceful day indeed.
Wishing you all joy & love for yesterday, today and tomorrow.
I’m the founder of Evoking Grace, a coaching program designed to inspire others to be their very best while bringing ease and balance into their everyday life. I can be contacted by email for more details on the work I offer or to schedule a free “Wisdom Within Session“. Follow my mumblings & musings on Facebook , Twitter & Pinterest to be part of my “online tribe”.
It’s brave of you to share this with us as I imagine the memory of this causes you pain too.
Thanks Mary! Memories belong to the past so they cannot harm us! When you find the hidden blessing then you can be detached from them and they stop having power over you.
I shared this story because it was important for me to know that both my clients & readers can identify in my journey, but most of all that they can see how no matter what happens they can turn things around for the good of all! Grace to you my lovely x
We are twin souls! I am experiencing a very similar situation. About 5 years ago, some family members stopped talking to my mom which then included my brothers and I for reasons that we still don’t know. I went through all the same thoughts and emotions you did and recently it hit me that I don’t want death to be what breaks the silence. I decided I would write a letter to all of them expressing the hurt their actions have caused, but that I am not holding any grudges and will accept them with open arms if they ever choose to be a part of our lives again. Fear of rejection has continued to hold me back from writing that letter, but your story has confirmed to my heart that I need to do it.
Hi Nena, I like that we are twin souls!:)
Family dynamics are very complex, and they are carried from other lives into this one. You may have noticed how each member of your family has a specific “role” which others will tend to relate to possibly for the rest of their time together, because in that lies their lesson.
I think, when it comes about family drama, that walking away with a smile is usually the best thing, even though it means letting others have the last word. In this we’d find compassion and grace! I’ve learnt the worst way ever, and I’m still learning, and this may be my lesson for this lifetime, who knows…However the older I get the more I realize that it really does not matter what happens, what my family thinks of me, or anyone really…because life is just a game and the only way to play well is to have my heart filled with joy & appreciation as much as I can….even though this may mean having to limit my time with those people! I try & do so with love and respect for their own path in this lifetime!
It’s a tough one this family business, and I wish you all the grace you can find in yourself to do what’s best for the good of all and accordingly to the free will of all your loved ones!
Grace to you xxx