Mr.Brady and I moved in together after 8 months of “communing”. I wanted a change, he wanted a happy family.
I was up for the whole thing. We picked a place that gave us a great environment and awesome sauce younger neighbours who had a dog we also loved – they were all super playful and big dreamers like us – we had lots of fun. We’d come home to cookies at our door and we’d take their dog when they had to work. We lived across from a park in a quiet mature neighbourhood a convenient distance to the stellar university area. We had big trees, a river valley, and cool cafes all at the reach of our legs. Side note: The wonderful park across the street is where I would go at night to smoke the occasional teeny touch of weed. I was anal and opposed to drugs since my first major boyfriend dramatically overused the stuff …and many other drugs but, wise Mr Brady reminded me that it’s okay to let loose once in a while. Even though he didn’t touch the stuff (past addictions), he lovingly bought me my first pot pipe. It was wood and soft and nice to touch. For me, it was an odd gift – and one I deeply treasure to this day for its reminder to me to let go sometimes. Mr Brady & I both loved playing house, dreaming up the future with big plans and big excitement. I mean, I also almost had a psychotic breakdown (seriously) because I thought I was going crazy trying to understand this sharp, judgemental, at times total fucking asshole of a human being. My mentor with the eyes of steel reminded me – “Porcupines Jamie.” Porcupines. You’re just seeing your shadow starlight. I thought to myself in these moments, blurred lines between moments of novelty & play, exciting new personal growth and mad terrifying breakdowns… “Ok, I’m up for facing the fire. Put some more wood on and let’s get at it!”
What? We all have baggage, Mr Brady & I simply chose, um, apparently, to put our “baggage” in each other’s faces like a Valentine’s Day bouquet. Love is a verb right?
One year after living together we said goodbye to our dear friends and moved from Edmonton Alberta (dry open prairie land) to Vancouver Island Canada (ocean mixed perfectly with temperate rain forest). Good ol “angel ex” and I had agreed to move there together after he settled in Canada from England but he decided he liked Edmonton too much to leave ..so I made Brady. Truthfully, I had no idea I was making him. I didn’t realize I was only testing him for where my ex fell short. Not fair? Nope, not at all. Like you’ve never made someone else pay for a heartbreak that wasn’t theirs. It was ridiculous and if I could have recognized my true intentions at the time, I could have spared Mr. Brady and I some learning curves – but we all know life doesn’t come with hindsight. Even though wise Mr. Brady knew that I was coming from hurt with my invitation to move, I wouldn’t see it for a few years. The Island, as it was, is a marvelous wonderful place for rest, community, creativity, and healing. Even though my motivation for getting my newish lover and me there was far from pure – we both needed what magical Vancouver Island had to offer.
We first moved into a yurt nestled next to a salmon stream a five-minute walk from the ocean and a big, lush beautiful forest. We look back on that stint as the time we were held by the moon. Creativity for me there was like an infinite waterfall of inspiration. Our yurt had a full kitchen, a beautiful bathroom with a big tub, and surroundings that made our souls sing. There was just the right amount of room for a dance party (a particular little girl loved yurt dance parties) under the sunroof which when the moon was full, felt like the stars were bathing us in sparkling possibility. It was good. Honestly, it was deeply nourishing. Even among the uncertainty’s of starting out in a new place, Brady’s unexpected struggle with purpose and passion, and my uh-oh realization that we’d just jumped all into our dark spots, I felt so completely whole. One of my best friends and her little one moved with us from Edmonton so, as the stars would have it, we had each other in this newness. Two wise women and a little girl – we were each other’s mirror of our wisdom and honesty. The choice to move felt right. Deeply, truly, beautifully, rattle the soul awake, right. Even though things were not all smooth – we all felt an ease in being alive.
We spent two years on magical Vancouver Island. Leaving Edmonton we gave away most of our things and stored what we chose to keep till we decided we’d found home. Our perfect strategy for Island life considering we had no belongings to hold us back was to bop around a certain location for a while. As it went, we’d spend 6 months at a time feeling out life in four unique environments. We chose Parksville, Canada to be our jumping off point and thought “this area is all so wonderful we’ll just boppopy bop around here”. First was yurt life – just us, the forest and others like us happy with a simple life in nature five minutes from the small town centre. Held by the moon, surrounded by water, and inspired by nature is enough said about our yurt life. Then we jumped into acreage life. I like aesthetics so we chose a beautiful place with a big garden and emotionally nervous but friendly landlords. We had a view of the ocean in front, snow capped mountains and horses out the back windows. Suntanning as we worked our businesses in the buff while eating fresh veggies from the garden summed up this experience. Thirdly, we nestled ourselves into a tiny suite tucked right in the centre of a small quiet town called Qualicum. It was convenient, a nice stroll to the ocean and the forest, mostly retired folk, and a beautifully manicured sleepy little town. For our Qualicum time, I’d say cosy cocoon, and early Monday homemade doughnuts is a wrap. Though we didn’t know it, our last hurrah was with some amazing humans we met at Toastmasters. With five boys gone, this lovely generous couple had a big beautiful empty house on an acreage ripe for company. We spent 6 wonderful months bonding by the fireplace. I got to learn about keeping cows, bailing hay, and gluten free cooking. We learned together, grew together, and rested together. It was the perfect gift for a couple who were readying for a baby. Mr Brady & I were more ready than ever to embrace parenthood. Vancouver Island brought us more mentors, a better understanding of each other, the ability to communicate, and the gratitude for the gifts of our struggles. We loved our super stellar community and felt a deep generosity from the land. But, alas, something more called to our big dreaming spirits. The end of our time on Vancouver Island meant we’d been together now over three years. WOW. That we made it that long was a surprise. For me, a good one.
Yurt life was the perfect emotional space to invite a child into. The relief and readiness that I could finally open my body to a little one was something I waited for a long long time. Some people get ready once the child is born, some women are never ready, others find their way as they trip, me – I was always ready to be a mother. Mr B and I felt calm, clear and trusted in the brilliance of our future. Two years later we still weren’t pregnant. As per my typical cup half full personality, we were patient and optimistic. I trusted our time would come so, in the meantime, I was glad to focus on my contribution to the world. Truth be told, I also love a good challenge – and showing up authentically in the world with your own creations is a feat many hide from. I was excited to win at my own game (…I’m still working at it! lol)! I happily worked on rocking my projects day in and day out with confident contentment. I trusted all would come together in time. It did. But not how I thought it would.
One year and a bit after moving off the Island I was pregnant. November 2012. Of course, I didn’t know it. Over Christmas time my darling made me our usual bulletproof coffee for breakfast at my uncle and aunties whom we were visiting in Banff and on the much anticipated morning dog walk along the turquoise frozen water in the cold sunny Rocky mountains…I puked my guts out. Still didn’t get the hint. Move along a week into the holidays and we arrived back in Edmonton and at some great friends of ours for our yearly grow tribe potluck (you establish a tight crew when you do personal development together. It’s what happens when a stranger knows more about you than your friends and family. Vulnerable? Sure. The relationships that birth from doing “the work” together though are as good as having angels guard your dreams. Do personal development in groups if you can. If you find the right work for you, in the right environment for you – with the right teachers for you – the magic you experience will grow long after your time together is complete). Oh yes, arriving at most loved friends home in Edmonton. We were happy to greet the first little one of this couple. She was a toddler now and we hadn’t seen her since she was born. I gleefully and gently snuck over to this young sensitive starlight and she offered me a big hug. Lucky me I thought. Then the little sparkle backed up and stared up at me with the most magical sweet look on her face. Her blue eyes twinkled as she looked all around me. That’s when I knew. I ignored it – but I knew. I wasn’t alone in my body.
Back up to the first chapter in The Surrender Story and you’ll remember we got married on that Christmas Eve and discovered we were pregnant on Boxing Day. Mr Brady was working out of town so once the holidays wrapped up he was gone. One of the things I hadn’t mentioned yet, possibly because it’s hard for me to admit, is hours after we got the baby news, I recalled a specialist telling me I would be high risk for ectopic pregnancies. “If you ever find out you are pregnant, even though the likelihood is everything will be ok, go to emergency for an ultrasound,” she said. (A piece of advice here – the power of suggestion is compounded by three things; authority, emotion, and trust. Please be mindful of what you say to whom and when. As an authority figure, a parent, a doctor, a teacher, etc, the words you speak to someone can alter the reality of their brain much quicker and much deeper. People tend to have higher emotion when speaking to an authority figure and, if you’re someone they trust, like a doctor, any negative conclusive things you say can be like a death sentence to the possibility of magic). It took me point zero seconds once the doctor’s voice echoed in my mind to leave the celebratory vibe and drop into worry. Me, a seasoned Hypnotherapist who knows how to leverage the mind like a secret ninja – abandoned everything I knew and hardened in a heartbeat into the idea that something might be wrong. Now look, family patterns of worry, negativity, and shame haunted me, so many things were at play for me during this time. Looking back now it still pinches my heart to acknowledge I went into such fear that something could go wrong. After three years of waiting, I actually got stuck in shock (which for those who are interested in learning can come from a massive hit of terror mixed with confusion). The stars ironically enough aligned for me that day. Stars are neutral folks. My biggest fear was that I would not be able to protect my children, I had waited three years for this opportunity, and my lover was happier than I’d ever seen him in my life – my psyche could not handle all the triggers and pressure being squeezed that day. For the next few weeks, I did my best to care for my body and feed my baby. But I was not present – I pretended I was, but I wasn’t. Then I went for the ultrasound. If I could erase time. Do you ever wish you could erase something from your life? Just stop yourself, or wake yourself up? This is my moment. The docs couldn’t find a little bean. They said the equipment was just not likely picking baby bean up yet, but to be sure asked me to come in every other day, sit in emerge, and wait for an ultrasound just in case. I was like a robot. I forgot to call anyone, to ask anyone for company, or to even connect to this little one in my body I was so desperate to protect. One time a doctor even said, “well it’s likely the fetus is in your abdomen so sooner or later it will just starve and die and you’ll be fine”. I just went deeper and deeper into la la land – and not the good one. Brady was up North, and I wasn’t even present enough to know I needed some help to “wake-up”. All I knew to do was keep a positive mask. I couldn’t bear to be anything but positive to the outside world back then. Only positive, cheery Jamie allowed. In the end, all the equipment could say was everything must be fine since my hormones still indicated I was pregnant. I was pregnant. Even four years later I still pause at knowing those words are my own.
Destiny, is it real? That’s for you to answer for yourself. For me, all I know is there are far too many synchronicities to think life is just acorns and roots. Little blue eyed princess, well her parents went away for a bit and invited my to take up space and have a break from staying with my generous mother-in-law. We went to Edmonton for Christmas but I decided to stay until I knew the baby was ok. One night a bestie and I spent the night colouring and playing around with our new year plans and stickers (never too old for stickers). At the end of my drawing spell, we looked over and softened with motherly warmth. I had drawn and colored in a big uterus and fallopian tubes. The fallopian tubes had angels stickers on them and my uterus had a lullaby for the baby. At my cervix on the drawing was a bison. Had the subconscious mind been foreign to me I would have been surprised at what I drew so automatically. I was practising my medicine without even knowing it. Crafting spells for my reproductive system and soothing for my child. You see the scary but profound thing about this situation is, that I knew in my heart, in the most peaceful way that everything was going to be ok. Insert tears here. I also seem to be a wise woman. I Always have had some source of wisdom available inside. I knew “okay” did not mean my pregnancy was going to last, my baby was going to live, or that my future was going to look like I wanted it to. I knew with a quiet reassurance that “everything was going to be okay” did not mean the happy ending Mr Brady and me so dearly and now desperately wanted. But I still had hope.
A few days later Mr Brady surprised me at our friends for a night of cuddling and celebrating our growing human. One night he was there. One divinely timed night. Early into our sleep, I started complaining about a strange feeling in my body. Mr Brady is a tough guy. He’s optimistic, hard to stress, and offers me his resilience often. He knew I was worried and not my normal self but he just didn’t know how absent I was. Eventually, he got me water bottles to ease the feeling and help me sleep. “Just trust it’s all fine” he said. “Stop worrying and think positive,” he said. I wanted to – desperately. I realised he wouldn’t be able to face this kind of loss right yet, especially not after waiting so patiently for three years, so once he fell asleep I quietly cocooned myself in the bathroom. There I spent the hours of darkness rocking my body back and forth and keeping myself in hypnosis to reduce the pain. It was getting worse. It wasn’t normal pain though. This was different. This was a battle. I was losing. The thing is I’d seen and heard some pretty miraculous stuff at that point being a Clinical Hypnotherapist for 6 years and specialising in pregnancy and birth (did I say I specialised in pregnancy and birth long before I knew I had any problem with making humans). This pain was something I had never experienced before. I was dying. I could literally feel the energy leaving my body bit by bit. It was like my body was a battery and the electricity was down to my shins. I couldn’t stand anymore so I lay on the floor still stubbornly practising hypnosis and desperately trying to ignore the fact that I had no control. Sad story right? We all have them (I’m sorry for yours by the way. I hope you have come to learn and grow from yours as I have mine). At least I share this story with a ferocious man I deeply respect and care for. Listen closely because this can set you free – I had no control.
I had no control. I was ignoring the voices in my head. I was ignoring my limp body. I was ignoring my child. One voice, in particular, got louder. If I had the energy to care I might have thought I was going crazy. Here is what I heard, louder and louder until I woke up from my blurry drift into death: “Stop being overbearing”. “Let me go”. “It’s me or both of us”. I heard this over and over and over again. “Oh my god,” I thought to myself, “I’m being like my mother, and my grandmother. I’m holding on too tight. I’m not listening”. One single tear fell down my face. Suddenly the bathroom felt like a graveyard and I was the keeper of death. I had to be a mother. A strong one. I knew what I had to do. It’s the strangest yet most pure thing to know something in such an unwavering way that, at any other waking healthy moment I might completely deny. I had to let my child go or we were both going to die. So I did have control. Just not the kind I wanted. I wanted to dictate my future, assure the future of my baby, ensure my dreams. But, the control I had was the control to respect the truth. My choice to respect the truth and surrender to what I could not understand is what saved my life. Parenting my unborn child for a mere moment in time taught me everything that matters. That was the hardest moment of my life so far. I have never felt so awake, present, and real as I did in that bathroom that one night my lover came home to visit. With the simple truth that I had to live for love, I bravely dragged by body into a kneeling position, resting my heavy head on the floor, and with quiet tears now soaking my tired face, I said something from the Hoʻoponopono (ho-o-pono-pono) practice – I said …
“My dear One,
Please forgive me if I’ve failed you
Perfect soul, I’m sorry I could not protect you
Thank you for coming to us
We Will Love You Always”
Like a broken spell, the energy started coming back into my body. An hour later I had enough energy to make it back to bed where I snuck in so as not to disturb sleeping papa. I woke up the next morning and pretended like nothing happened. I couldn’t face it yet. I couldn’t even trust that that actually happened. Maybe it was a big nightmare. I certainly couldn’t tell Mr Brady. He would not have been able to believe me yet anyway. Maybe somewhere I was praying for a miracle – that I was wrong and none of that night happened. It’s interesting to be a strong independent woman drowning in weakness.
When Heaven & Earth Collide