This is My Story (& Bella Grace Magazine Giveaway)

Hello my fellow Bella Grace blog hoppers, readers, seekers, and friends!  I'm so excited to be participating in the Bella Grace blog hop.   What a creative, inspiring, and extraordinary community to be involved with.  It is magic!

Let me introduce myself.  I am a free spirited control freak with passive aggressive perfectionist tendencies and extraordinarily high expectations.  Let's just start there.  Although when I posted this as my Facebook status one day, a lovely friend responded by saying "Andrea...that's a lot of negatives you said about yourself. You are kind, supportive, fun and nice to be with...that's the Andrea I know."  So there's that too. (Thank you Lisa Culver)  My story is that I am a whole lot of things.  I accept the positives and also acknowledge the struggle.

Recently, I attended an angel circle led by a very gifted intuitive/medium.  Participants in the circle were all able to ask one question that we wanted answered with some spiritual intuitive insight.  I thought about what my question should be and realized it's the same question I've been obsessed with for my whole life.  The one that fills 90% of my journal.  The question that keeps me uncertain yet motivated, intrigued and committed to living as my highest self.  The only question that matters.  What is my purpose?   The intuitive/medium (Nicole) said that she couldn't answer that question for me of course but she felt called to provide some insight based on the energy that she has experienced from me.   She said that I carry such a bright light and that my presence illuminates the path for everyone around me.  In fact, she teased me that I walk around shining my bright light all over the place wondering what my purpose is when just being ME has inspired more people than I could ever even imagine.  The message to me from the universe through Nicole was to STAY LIT.  This brought tears to my eyes because it's so simple and true.   Staying connected to my authentic self and shining it all over the place is my superpower.  This is what I have always told my girls as they headed out the front door into the world beyond me.... "Shine your light.  Make good choices."    This is my story.

I think this is best represented in my last article in Issue 7 of Bella Grace magazine titled "23 Ways to Love and Light Yourself Up."

 I am my own provider of love and comfort.  I'm proud to admit that I treat myself well.  Not with luxurious or superficial things... but with simple pleasures. I nurture myself with tenderness. Tiny gestures.  Magical moments. I am in love with life.   I Let myself be taken away with emotion. Finding the joy in moments.  Finding the lessons in heartache.  Noticing the gifts in each situation.   I throw myself into the beauty of it all. It is all sensory.  Touch. Sound. Taste. Sight. Smell. Imagination.  Intuition. Using every part of me, I love and light myself up.  Saturate your life with love wholeheartedly and you will bring the magic everywhere you go.    (To read the full article enter to win a copy of Bella Grace Magazine Issue 7 - see below for details).

My story is also this.  My light isn't always shining.  I struggle each month in the shadows.  I've spoken before about my PMS problem.  It's a biggie and effects my life greatly!  As such, most of my friends know that I make all my plans according to when I am experiencing my week of hell.  My version of PMS is the severe kind that has its own name called PMDD - Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder, which is actually a mood disorder.  "The symptoms of PMDD are similar to those of PMS but are severe enough to interfere with work, social activities, and relationships."  PMDD is basically PMS on crack.  It's brutal.  I imagine that it must be like having bipolar disorder, but on a schedule.  Every 4 weeks like clockwork I can feel a switch inside me.  It's physical and palpable and horrible.  It's very Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde. My evil alter ego shows up and it's very difficult to control.  So there you go.  That's a big truth of mine.  I judge myself all the time for this, but I am working on accepting this worst part of me.. and also trying to find the tools to help me cope.  (Actually I will be discussing this in my next post which will include an excerpt from my journal on a morning when I was in the darkness of PMS brain).

A very significant part of my story is my divorce.  This was the most difficult time in my life where it took every ounce of energy to stay lit.  I cried every day for a whole lot of days. I spent the whole rest of the time that I wasn't crying using every little bit of my energy hiding my pain and trying NOT to cry so my daughters would be protected from so much distress.  Divorce is sad guys.  Supersized pain and grief.  Although I do not want to live in this space, my divorce is a big part of my life. Six years later,  I am happily remarried to an amazing man who means the world to me and I have revamped my life in so many ways, but I can still feel the death of that dream at times.  There is leftover pain that may always remain.....the remnants of a marriage and family life that was once whole and happy and ideal and then just gone.  That is divorce.  There's a big story there and someday I will share more of it as I feel called to provide inspiration to other women who experience such a monumental loss.  I have written an article that was published in Bella Grace Issue 6 called "Magic in the Midst of Heartache" which speaks more about finding the beauty within the pain of divorce.

My story is this.  "I have a tale to tell.  Sometimes it gets so hard to hide it well.  I was not ready for the fall.  Too blind to see the writing on the wall." #madonnaismyguru. :)   Our tales (the details of our stories) change and evolve over the years....pain and fear, love and light.  It's how we respond to the difficult times that defines who we are.  Our tales represent the narrative of our one big fat juicy life.

"A feminist is any woman who tells the truth about her life." ~ Virginia Woolf.

 Own it all.  Shine.  Illuminate.  Radiate.  STAY LIT my friends.

 ........................................See below for Bella Grace Magazine Giveaway!

This post is part of the Grace Notes blog hop. You can find more posts celebrating life’s everyday magic by visiting Grace Notes.

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