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Begin Within

Begin within.

These two words provided the framework and bounty of what I needed to discover last week during a weeklong stay-cay on the water. In the middle of a sticky relationship situation with a teenager, I was frustrated and overwhelmed. My boyfriend whisked me away into self care seclusion to get some peace of mind.

Interestingly enough, the week was filled with all sorts of discovery waiting for me to find. Wisdom waited to pour out...from the inside.

On the day we checked in to the hotel, I also had therapy visit earlier that day to unpack some of rage I felt and was given tools to create boundary and reframing exercises to see the situation different. I remember leaving the appointment defensive because my ego still needed a moment to roar about the insanity of the deteriorating relationship with my own daughter. I stopped and grabbed a snicker bar on the way to our staycation digs to hopefully transform from the crazy person back to my sensible planning and intuitive side that was able to alchemize uncharacteristic situations.

I arrived. Opened the balcony doors and gazed into the water, hoping the sounds of the river could calm the anxiousness inside of me. As I began to stare at the current and waves and listen to the sounds of speed boats and the faint conversations of people, I instantly relaxed into a trance until I could not hear anything except the sound of my breathing.

I pulled out the journal and set some intentions about what I expected to receive during this time because my therapist was right. What was the point of expressing rage without also setting a container for me to implement some changes. How would I be different at the end of this? What did I need to happen to push me into a sense of balance for the situation?

I began to listen to what the inner me had to say and she told me a lot. Namely how overwhelm sends her into a place of wanting to escape and hide, not wanting to confront the feelings on the inside or deal with them effectively until I was ready to. And this was a consistent thread with how handled a lot of things that rubbed me raw. I didn't want to face it.

True Story: I used to be afraid to physically look in the mirror at myself. I would try to look in my eyes but then I got extremely uncomfortable until I looked away or rushed off to do something else. I had an unrealistic view of my expressions, my features and no attachment to my identity. Weird right? I don't know what I was afraid of but one day I forced myself to gaze into my own eyes. Uncover. Unfold. Discover. And eventually appreciate the beauty there on the inside waiting for me to acknowledge and honor.

It was not as hard as I imagined. At all. Now, I linger there and have conversations too, lost in the depth of my eyes and smile.

When I got up from the chair facing the reflection of the brackish river water, I realized that its muddiness mirrored back to me the emotions I was feeling and the only way to gain the strength to transform was to begin within. By facing and acknowledging the wellspring of wisdom waiting beneath the surface.

Today, I remind myself to start there when I need to reset and refocus.

I’m appreciative of the gift of clarity I find when I do.

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LaDonna P. Mixon
LaDonna P. Mixon
Jun 13, 2020

Thank you so much Erika! I love you too!! ♥️


Erika Burke
Erika Burke
Jun 11, 2020

Awesome share! Thank you for willing to be so vulnerable. I love you!!

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