I had a stomachache that lasted over a decade. The muscles in my cheeks hurt most of the time. Medical tests, supplements, and restrictive diets were my life. I never clued in that the source of my pain went beyond what I was putting in my mouth… that it also lay with what I was not letting out of it.

I used to think that in order to be brave, I had to fight and be in control. Our culture taught me that we have to fight tooth and nail, never give up, and hold on tight to be strong. Today, as I crack the mold, I am beginning to see this form of bravery is no longer working for me.

I am not a screamer. It’s extremely rare that I lose my shit. I can count on one hand the number of times that I’ve raised my voice at my kids (other than full-on singing interludes) or at another adult (once). I’m a soldier: a quiet, teeth-clenched one. With my head down, I stay the course, pushing through with my extra gear.

I “perfected” this strategy over many years. The mold was set, and I soldiered on. From the outside, it looked like it worked very well- until the stomachaches.   

It has taken me a long time to learn to speak my truth. I work on it every day. I now recognize the rumble in my belly when I am holding it in. It is as if the words and thoughts are putrefying within the container they no longer fit into.

I no longer believe that you have to be a fighter to be bold. When I asked my son, Luca (9), what it meant to him to be bold, he told me, “it is a little eagle breaking out of her egg and soaring high in the sky all on her own”. He’s got it.

I challenge you to release the grip on what is no longer working. What does not work makes space for what does. Trust in the beauty of the pace and the process. Let things unfold in the time and space that is natural. Listen to your heart, walk your path.

Let go of the fear, be brave and get in on life! (Watch this!)

~ Stacy and Helen

WHOLEmade Meal Shares Stacy Cimino Helen Allard

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