This past January, I was asked to speak at CreavtivCatalyst Week in Downtown Las Vegas about a moment in my life that was a catalyst for change (you can watch my speech here: https://vimeo.com/86375701). There was no one moment to pick from. My life looked like a series of random events that were unrelated. Some of them I planned, many were out of my control. Most of the catalyst moments seemed either sad or funny, like God was trying to see if I could take a joke.
A few months ago, always looking for answers, I had a Shamanic Astrology reading with Sao (http://www.astrologyofchange.com/) and his accurate reading about the path of my life made me think that just maybe all of these random events, even the sad ones, were meant to happen. Maybe much of life was out of my control and my only choice was how I showed up to live it.
During a Catalyst Week event, CreativCatalyst Founder and CEO Amanda Slavin asked each of us to share what we wanted to be when we were eight years old.I wanted to be a writer. When I was eight, I published a neighborhood paper with a printing press my mom bought me. I charged the neighbors 10 cents each to read the one sheet paper, all the stories written by me. Most of the stories were funny, a few of them were sad. The paper lasted the whole summer until I ran out of ink. Then I took up macramé.
When I look at my history of relationships with men, I could also label each one as funny or sad. At dinner one night, my friend Danielle asked me to tell her friend the funny story about my ex-boyfriend. I started in on the story and she quickly stopped me.
“Not that one,” she said.
I realized I had quite a few funny stories about ex-boyfriends. Or they were sad.
Nothing in between.
It made me start to look at how I show up for a man and why I made certain choices. To do that, I had to make sense of my divorce from the father of my four children. And from there, to go back to the life before my divorce, and from there, to the life before that. It took me back to a few years before I was eight and dreaming about being a writer. It took me back to the moment I was molested by a teenage neighbor at the age of six. It was the moment, I started dimming my light. I didn’t speak up about what happened to me when I was a child because, like many families, we didn’t talk about those things. I used humor instead of telling the truth. When my mother turned seventy-five several years ago, a book was written about her life to be presented to her children and grandchildren. In the book, she describes her five kids as young children.
“Betsy was the funny one,” she said.
Being funny covered up the secrets and the sadness.
With the release of my book, Autobiography of An Orgasm, I decided to stop living in the darkness of the the secrets and the sadness. What I didn’t anticipate was the outpouring of stories from other women (and a few men), who after reading the book have privately shared stories of their disconnection and shame around sexual assault; verbal, emotional and physical abuse; and/or loss of a baby. As I read each of their stories, I realized how events in our lives, give us the chance to move towards or away from our light, from our faith, from our soul’s purpose.
This coming week, the days will continue to get shorter as we move towards winter solstice on Dec. 21. It’s the longest night of the year and then we begin to move towards the light again. I wonder what would happen if we all chose to move towards the light together?
“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.”
Please join me for a holiday shopping and a book signing in New York City on Monday, December 22nd from 6.30-8.30pm at Yaf Sparkle Boutique,
158 Orchard Street (Lower East Side).
Copies of my book will be for sale along with beautiful gifts from Yaf Sparkle Boutique.
Please stop by and say hello! www.yafsparkle.com