A Life with No Instructions: Part 1

"Well-fed. Exquisitely nourished in heart, soul, body, bones." 

I have a story for you.

Over the last year, my life and work changed in a big way.

Late last summer last year, I began receiving some gentle nudges to let go of the struggle with what no longer fit in my life—sometimes I refer to these as “cosmic 2 x 4’s.” Perhaps you’ve experienced them, too, those incredibly challenging moments (typically unexpected) when life stops us in our tracks, changes things up, and we have absolutely zero choice but to change directions.

In these moments, we are forced to stop, reflect, pause, and let go—a little or sometimes a lot. We are met face-to-face with the urgings and prompts that have been whispering ~ they rise up and demand that we listen to the sacred messages of our deeper desires.

I had been feeling like something was missing in my private practice as a psychotherapist. There was an aching. All the work I had been doing was not matching up.

My essence was MIA and I felt confused, bewildered, and my daily life felt a little like a chore. Don’t get me wrong... life was a chore I wanted. But, really, was it supposed to feel like a list of tasks to cross off?

For me, the cosmic 2 x 4’s—or the obstructions that arose—were divine intervention. Looking back now, they were fairly gentle nudges, but obvious. And I am grateful. Those events were pushing me to the edge of everything I longed to move toward—my gifts, my passionate purpose, what I wanted to share with the world, and also, what I wanted to receive.

This time of obstruction and challenge is when I stepped into this new incarnation of my work, everything you see in my newsletters, on my website, and at my gatherings

I have tremendous gratitude and value for my degree in psychotherapy (for all of my degrees, actually), and for my years of working strictly as a psychotherapist. I have learned and gained so much from all of it. But what was missing for me, ultimately, was letting myself BE the healer that I am and that I was born to be.

My new work is a wide open space, a frontier to explore and experience, beyond the limits of how I had been working before. Stepping into it felt like I took a huge weight off my chest. All of my years of learning and gathering were now able to be embodied in a real, heartfelt, genuine way. 

As with many things in life, there was no rule book or instructions. I thrive that way. I got to choose a life of flourishing or a life of the chore-list. And it was my responsibility to make that choice and step into the actions of whatever I chose. 

I was starving and I knew I wanted to be well-fed and exquisitely nourished in my bones, in my belly, and in heart and soul. 

All of this meant it was time to stop pretending to be someone that I was not. I am not my graduate degrees. I don’t have to fight to belong. I already do. I finally understood that I didn’t have to earn a seat at the table. All those diplomas and life experience and all the amazing clients I sat with led me to understand that. Listening to my dreams and honoring their messages led me to knowing that.

My heart, above all else, kept inviting me home to myself, to my wildness, to my trusting, to my essence.


Grace Manger