Tuesday, November 9, 2010

How I went from bad to good in a day

Today I flipped a family situation that was difficult and painful into something that was awesome and met everyone’s needs. I want to tell you about it. It was kinda cool actually. And scary.

You see, for a couple of weeks my partner Ian has been exhausted from all the energetic touring he does for our company DreamRider Theatre. Coincident with this, I’ve been coffee-ing and lunching with some of the brilliant people I met at Social Venture Institute and generally they have been expanding my own brain and vision considerably. So this weekend I was in a bit of a contraction. Meaning I was cranky, tired and whiney. (Lucky Ian!!!) 

His fatigue and my whininess left for a not-very fun couple of days. (I am not perfect, I am astounded to discover.)  Meantime I had been planning for some time a beautiful little mini-holiday to Tofino for my family this week. Full disclosure: I really needed to go – I used to live there and every now and again my soul just needs to get back to the wild west coast. But I was bringing them. Happy family times were planned. Except. Tia was going to miss saying a few sentences at her school’s Remembrance Day ceremony, and Ian was just too f’ing tired to contemplate the drive. They were both mad at me.

photo (c) Vanessa LeBourdais

And they revolted! They didn’t want to go. The day before we were due to leave. When I couldn’t cancel the reservations any more.

And the secret piece is that I’ve been spending too much time alone lately and really needed – I was sure! - to connect with my family.

My friend Erin – who is a wise witchy woman I call upon for inspired advice – said, with her typical way of cutting to the essence of it – “You should go. On your own. Face your fears of being alone front and centre. Do it.”

Now – everybody’s happy. Exact same difficult situation, looked at differently. Ian gets to stay home and do nothing, just as he has been dreaming of. Tia gets to do her presentation. I get Tofino. And I get to look at one of my deepest core fears. But I’ll do this in the place, where, in the loneliest part of my life when I was younger, the sea and forest and sand and wind embraced and held me as I healed.

Now that I'm looking at the upside, I notice some other things: I'm going away, guilt-free, from my kid and my husband for four days, to do whatever the heck pleases me. I could get used to this!  What a different perspective I got by surrendering to what was happening and opening to my fears.

I might even be able to let that old fear go. After all, the room I rented in my Tofino days is now a chocolate factory. Miracles can happen.

photo (c) Tia Gschwind 



  1. BEAUTIFUL, Vanessa! We'll be waiting for tales of what emerges from this magic time.

  2. Lovely! That's the way learning from joy happens! : )

    I applaud your courageousness and commitment to your growth.

    Blessings on your journey!

  3. Wow! I didn't read this til today and I went through something similar yesterday. How bizarre.

    Yesterday I was in deep exhaustion and despair, had messed up on giving a presentation, was worried about a challenging meeting about my finances, but I decided to face my fears and stand in this scarey place. By 5pm I was ready to throw in the towel and nearly cancelled evening plans, but at the last minute something in me decided to 'rally'.

    I arrived at the splashy party at Craigdarrock Castle, and there was a photographer doing a staged shoot of guests stepping out of a limo. My date played the part by dropping to his knees as if to help me out of the limo, it was pretty funny.

    At the end of a very fun night, the photo prints were ready for us to pick up on our way out and I can't stop laughing at how RADIANTLY Happy I look in the shot. You would never know how horrid I had felt an hour earlier. And today more of the same: inspired, energized.

    Nothing has actually changed except my attitude and somehow everything feels more than okay, it feels perfect. It's so bizzare.

    I heard this today, and I think it's relevant here. "Fear and gratitude cannot co-exist."