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Dying to My Old Self….

Updated: Jun 17, 2022

How my journey of awakening began

They say a spiritual awakening can happen spontaneously or it can happen after a life-altering trauma. My awakening contains both of these aspects.

Have you experienced a moment in your life where there was a small but mighty shift that left you feeling changed in a way you really couldn’t name?

One of those moments for me was my 1st yoga class in September of 2014.

At the end of class, I found myself crying. At the time I wasn't even sure why. But somewhere between the inhale and exhale of that last breath in Savasana I had tears streaming down my face.

There was a subtle shift that happened on my mat and I knew I wanted more, although I wasn't entirely sure what "more" was.

And so began my soul's awakening. Yoga woke a part of my soul that had long been dormant, bringing it back into my field of remembrance.

It stirred an echo of longing in me, again, for what I was not sure.

All I knew is that I wanted to know who I was and my truth, as my true authentic self.

At the end of 2015, I fell IN LOVE with my person, Lou Perez. We had known each other for over a decade, even dating multiple times in 2005-2006.

However, I was never ready for commitment so we just remained friends until we reconnected at the tail end of 2015.

Then the stars aligned, as well as our hearts, and it was MAGICAL.

I kept up with my yoga practice but my focus wasn’t as dedicated to spiritual enlightenment/growth when Lou came into my life.

I just focused on being present to the love we shared in every moment of each day.

In January of 2018, we boarded a plane that would take us to Paris to celebrate my 50th birthday.

(I know, you're probably thinking 50?! NO WAY!!☺️)

It was my birthday present from Lou and my first trip to Europe.

I don't think saying I was excited truly captured the depth of my elation.

On our very last night in Paris, Lou went into cardiac arrest and died right in front of me.

As I witnessed his very last breath, I felt a rip in the seam of my universe.

My world was shattered.

And, as a result, I was spiritually and emotionally CRACKED WIDE OPEN.

I know that sounds really weird to say, right? But it is the truth.

When he died, so did part of me. And it opened me up to the scary unknown of a new reality.

His death set forth a chain reaction of such massive change and shift that it all seems like something I dreamt versus lived.

What I do remember about the night of his death:

*Having to finally cave and wash my hair in the world's tiniest bathroom and use a French hairdryer before our last dinner. (Random detail that has stuck in my mind since January of 2018.)

*Food, so much food. Love. Laughter. Connection. Romance. Wine.

So much Wine (mostly for me)

*Singing Slick Rick at the dinner table and laughing so hard when we realized everyone was staring at those "silly Americans".

*I remember trying so hard to get Lou to stay out late so we could have one more GRANDE TRES BIEN night in Paris. He was adamant about going back to our hotel to get a good night's sleep before our flight, so we did.

I also remember our Hotel, Hotel Gaston, was well over a mile away from the restaurant we ate our last meal at, yet we walked back in the blustery January weather holding hands.

In hindsight, had I been truly present I think I would have realized he wasn't feeling well.

That he was struggling. There were so many signs.

But perhaps we will unpack that another time.


When he died, after the French paramedics tried to resuscitate him for what seemed like hours, I was granted permission to say goodbye to him privately in our now-empty hotel room. (all the furniture had been removed and placed in the hallway)

I sat and held his hand. That was all I could do.

I don't think I was even crying I was in such shock. I remember having this out-of-body experience where I could feel myself looking down on the both of us as I held his hand

(Later, much later, I learned I had disassociated and left my body because the trauma was too much for me to handle)

Despite being in shock, I made him a promise right there in that cold tiny room, that I would live my best life in his memory.