The Story of My Awakening (Part 8) - Our marriage was suffering
Nov 22, 2021
In the last part of this series, I shared my awakening of vaccines...
Now I will be sharing with you my struggles in my marriage and the huge shift that propelled my family out of the destructive-divorce-is-imminent phase to I think we have a chance phase.
A whole year had gone by after the serendipitous dinner with my dear friend Kellie that led to the creation of the Hippie Moms Community on Facebook.
You can still join in if you aren’t already there!
I finally felt connected to a group of women where I could share my heart and ask for advice when I needed it.
I would post and engage daily.
Eventually, we changed the names to Hippie Moms as we agreed that the “aren’t crazy” was defensive! Haha!
We were going to own being Hippie Moms!
I was going to own this opportunity and somehow create a space where women like me could go and feel like they were not alone.
It became my mission and the community grew and grew.
It was such a great outlet for me.
BUT, even though this community had been a saving grace, things at home were struggling.
My husband and I were constantly bickering.
It was getting worse.
We’d go for days without speaking to each other.
I was so stressed out and drained I had nothing left for him or our relationship.
I was hanging on with a thread and so was he.
We had been fighting constantly and were so disconnected.
He didn’t know how to deal with my manic-ness and I couldn’t give him anything he needed.
Intimate moments were VERY few and far between I mean as a parent you barely have any time for yourself.
I put him last on the totem pole and it was a huge blistering sore in our marriage.
I had been thinking about what it would look like if we just decided to part ways. It got to the point where I wasn’t sure what other choice we had.
We were both so stubborn and our love tanks were empty.
We did not have the tools, nor did we learn from our parents, to heal and create a strong and happy marriage.
In April of 2016, my husband sat me down one evening.
We grabbed a couple of drinks and perched ourselves on the patio.
Dinner was ready to go and the boys were entertained by screens.
I remember in this moment how I felt just a breeze of ease.
The night had cooled and I felt relaxed.
Scott said that he wanted to talk to me about something.
I was nervous.
SHIT, is this the moment he’s going to tell me he wants out?
Legit, this is what came to my mind.
Thankfully this wasn’t the topic of discussion.
He told me to wait a moment and went inside.
He came out just a few moments later with his laptop and asked me to watch a video. I did.
It was a video about something called Wake up Warrior.
I had heard him mention it a few times, but to be honest we were probably interrupted 5 times during that conversation.
He had been following a guy by the name of Garret White.
Garret started it for entrepreneurial fathers who were on the brink of divorce and an emotional eruption.
As I share how much I was suffering in early motherhood, my husband was living a life of quiet desperation.
He was working SO hard every day to make ends meet and to keep me happy, which was an impossible task.
Just like to note there NO ONE CAN MAKE YOU HAPPY. That’s your job.
I was skeptical when Scott told me about the financial investment it would require for him to be a part of this program.
We were already struggling financially and this investment was huge at that time.
Something had to shift and soon though or we weren’t going to make it.
The fact that he was willing to step out of his comfort zone makes some major changes was a welcome sign from God.
At this point in my life, I mostly blamed him for our marriage issues... so I said yes and then the real journey began.
Scott would be leaving for a week that upcoming October to what was then called warrior week.
To prepare he was required to begin implementing important daily tasks.
The tasks were categorized with Balance, Body, Being, & Business.
He began waking up early and working out.
He planned weekly dates and organized babysitters.
He stopped drinking during the week.
He was reading books by Byron Katie and Eckhart Tolle. If you aren’t familiar with these authors, they are both very famous spiritual teachers.
I began reading with him.
Our conversation shifted from what the other person did or didn’t do to more of an exploration of where our expectations and stories came from.
It was powerful and I felt like we had a chance.
Then one of the most powerful things happened.
I walked by his office one early morning.
I am known to sleep as long as I possibly can, but since Scott had been getting up early he motivated me too to start off just a little earlier so I could have a little extra time before the boys woke up.
I put on my unsexy mom rob, worn-out slippers, and glasses.
I looked hot.
I walked out of our bedroom and then, I saw it.
I saw Scott.
He was in his office, his eyes were closed, headphones in, and he was sitting quietly in his chair.
Was he meditating?!? I asked myself in my brain.
WAIT!? He’s meditating before me? (I’m laughing SO hard as I write this)
I could not believe that my husband began his meditation practice before I did.
I was so annoyed!
I was so much more spiritual and evolve than he was!
I had been planning to start a meditation practice for the past year.
Ever since Hippie Moms began, meditation was a common topic and as more and more women began to share how it changed their lives, I knew I had to start.
I had even read over 5 books about meditation.
I knew the benefits, I knew how it helped manage stress. I knew it was life-changing.
I knew I needed it.
I had practiced yoga for years so I felt like I had a good foundation to the breath… but sitting still with myself, let’s just be honest, it scared the shit out of me.
BUT I WANTED TO START FIRST!
I had been waiting for a perfect place to meditate.
I needed a meditation pillow and sacred space to do it.
I made tons of excuses. I never had time.
But seeing Scott meditate before me, well that was the last of me putting off my meditation practice.
I type A.
I struggle with stillness and not feeling productive.
Doing is a distraction for me and it always has been… and at times it still is.
It’s hard to sit still and just be with yourself.
Our society and culture tend to label stillness as “lazy” and unproductive.
I grew up in a home where I rarely ever saw either of my parents relax.
Their relaxing consisted of a drink in their hand and a TV in front of their face.
I thought that the only time I could relax was when I was at least 2 drinks in, and that is when everything in my life would seem just a little bit tolerable.
But that feeling would disappear as quick as it came and well I was always chasing it.
About 4 months before I saw Scott meditating.
We were going through a whole home remodel after a flood in our kitchen.
Our entire house had to get new flooring, which ended up being a huge blessing, but we had to move out of our home for 3 months.
We moved three times.
We lived in places that were not kid or dog-friendly.
I was on constant alert to keep everyone safe and alive.
I was a mess.
I was tired.
I was drinking way too much.
I was overstressed and my body was shutting down.
I ended up getting a horrible case of hives.
I had red splotchy raised marks from head to toe.
The stress, high alcohol consumption, and all the healthy foods I was eating (high in histamines) just overloaded my body and I broke down.
It was a pretty low time, but it was truly the best gift I could have been given.
I was trying to do it all, but the most important thing that I could have been doing was taking care of my mental health.
I had no clue what that even meant back then.
We finally moved back into our home and were getting settled in.
It was a HUGE relief to be home and not on high alert 24/7.
About a month after we moved back in was when I saw Scott meditating.
As I mentioned in my last email, I was so annoyed that he was the first to take this valiant step and do something that I had been planning to do for at least a year.
I felt like he stole the idea from me.
I know how silly this sounds.
I had been practicing yoga for almost 5 years before I met Scott.
I was the more “spiritually advanced” person in our relationship.
I had been reading self-help and spiritual books for at least a decade.
Meditation was supposed to be my thing, first.
In my yoga practice, the end pose, corpse pose (aka. Savasana) was by far the most challenging pose I would ever do.
The words from almost any yoga instructor went something like, “now it’s time to rest and just breathe, can you just let go?”
How do you just let go?
I still hate that phrase!
I just can’t let go… my mind is running a million miles a minute and you want me to just lay here and do nothing?
Do you know how much shit I have to do!?
I’d always feel agitated and annoyed and I’d be the first one to jump up and get out the room when it was safe.
It was torture!
Isn’t it silly that being still with ourselves is one of the hardest things we can do?
We give all of our attention and energy to others but we so rarely give it to ourselves.
It’s so strange.
After I saw Scott meditating before me, I was not going to fail at this “meditation thing” and when I decide to do something, I do it.
Scott was happy to accommodate me in any way to begin my practice.
His newfound focus on becoming a better human made me want to be a better human.
I think he was also just so happy for the glimpse of hope where I may stop being Mega-bitch all the time.
I had carved out some time in our schedule where I had consistently dedicated 10 minutes every day to beginning this stillness practice.
I’d get up before the boys and perch myself up in bed.
I don’t remember the very first time I meditated… but I remember the first couple of weeks and it was torture.
As usual, I had high expectations of myself.
I thought that if I just practiced a few days I’d have a breakthrough.
In no time I’d be the spiritually advanced person I knew I'd always be.
But unfortunately, that wasn’t the case.
For the most part, I just thought my whole way through each meditation and it left me feeling like a failure each and every time.
I wasn’t even aware of these consistent and conditioned negative and habitual thinking patterns that kept me stuck in the very place I hated to be.
Then about 3 weeks of consistent mediation practice I finally felt something shift.
It was around the end of May in 2016.
I was about to start my cycle and this was a miserable time for all.
I was edgy, grumpy, irritable, irrational, and had this looming feeling of claustrophobia.
I just needed space, quiet, and to be alone.
Scott was happy to take the boys out of the house for a few hours… he packed a few bags with snacks, water bottles, and an extra pair of clothes for the boys as my youngest could NOT handle anything wet on his clothes or it’d be meltdown city!
I helped them leave as soon as possible.
There was SO much to do.
Laundry, dishes, dirty bathrooms, and dusty shelves.
I looked around at the mess and was just overwhelmed.
I was tired.
I was over it.
I hadn’t meditated that morning, so I thought it would be wise if I did that first.
I was committed.
It took me at least an hour to sit my ass down.
I distracted myself with my phone for a bit.
I went on to send a text message and ended up wasting 20 minutes scrolling on Facebook.
You know how that is.
I remember looking at the time and was so upset I had got nothing done.
What a waste, I thought.
I began to set up a space in my living room area to meditate.
I moved the diffuser from my room near where I’d be sitting and put drops of lavender and grapefruit essential oils (still one of my favorite blends for relaxing), and turned it on.
I grabbed my earbuds and went onto YouTube to pull up the meditation video I had been using.
It was the meditation video Scott had been listening to for his meditation.
It’s a “release technique” by Brendon Burchard.
He spends the first 10 minutes talking, so I forwarded to the 10:54 mark where the music plays and he repeats “release, release, release”.
I won’t go into his technique, as you can listen to it yourself.
I sat on the couch with a pillow supporting my lower back and my legs crossed.
[Side note: There is NO right way to meditate! It’s ideal to sit up with a long straight spine, but comfort is key!]
I took some deep breaths and settled in.
Immediately my mind began to fill with all the things that needed to be done.
Things that I needed to do today and things I needed to do weeks from now.
Brendon’s voice chimed in again “release” and I was pulled back to my breath and that mantra.
I continued to repeat that word in a calm and rhythmic way.
My mind continued to deter my focus.
I would spend minutes in a full imaginary story and then he would come back on and I’d hear “release”, it would remind me to come back and begin again.
Finally, what seemed the millionth time, I found myself for a few moments in a quiet and calm space.
It was the very first time I was aware of this state of being.
[Side note: I actually had experienced this state of presence before… but it had always been accompanied by psychedelics, marijuana, opioids, and/or alcohol.]
It was fluid, calm… it felt like home.
Wow, I thought… this is amazing.
All of a sudden a thought came out of nowhere and my body began to tighten.
It was a very familiar body sensation, but it was different.
It felt like someone had punched me in the stomach and was clenching my throat.
I don’t even remember what that thought entailed, I just remember how it felt in my body.
This was the very first time I had ever realized how thoughts created feelings in the body.
I was stunned.
I released that thought and went back into my breath and mantra.
For 45 minutes I sat there.
I’d get back home and then the mind would pull me out and punch me in the gut.
It was so fascinating.
I remember thinking how crazy it was I had never experienced this connection before.
In all my years of yoga and reading spiritual and self-help books that this visceral realization was right under my nose.
This was when the real work began. `
As I share this, I've been practicing meditation for over 4 years now. As I write this, I now dedicate 1 hour daily to this practice, every morning. It has CHANGED my life.
I'm not saying it makes life easier, it just helps you to see that everything that happens to you, actually happens for you.
Everything is a gift to our expansion and growth.
When we become more aware of our focus, responses, and reactions, we soon begin to learn that we play a HUGE part in our lives... instead of blaming, we accept responsibility.
Life will always require us to expand and grow, that's just the nature of it.
So we can do it with suffering and resistance or surrender and acceptance. We get to choose at every moment.
More to come.
In love and light, Becky