I open my computer to write and the tears are begging to fall……. I can barely breathe!! I NEVER in 100 million years could have ever imagined this being so hard!! Last week I told my clients that I would be leaving. I was gathered, collected and clear and knew what I wanted to say and the message that I wanted to leave them with. I wanted them to know how incredibly strong and beautiful they all are. I wanted them each to know how capable they are. How much I believed in them, how incredibly proud I was of them for showing up to face their DARKEST demons, for walking through their fears, for putting effort into healing their broken pieces and experience LIVING. I wanted them to each know how much I loved them and how INCREDIBLY honored and blessed I felt to bear witness to a small portion of their journey. I wanted them to know I was scared also, but I was facing my fears and taking a leap and chasing a dream I’ve held in my heart for as long as I could remember. I wanted them to be inspired and to realize we are all the same!!! We are all connected in our brokenness and connected again in our healing, that I recognize their darkness because I have an intimate relationship with my own. That MORE than anything I see their light, way before they do, and I feed that light as I have my own! I wanted each of them to know that they are not their past, not their pain, not their trauma, not their story, not the negativity that runs trough their minds, not their fears, not their crimes, not their emptiness……. What defines them is their heart, their love, their light, their dreams, their strength, their beautiful spirits!!!!! I felt good and we all shed a few tears. I was proud of maintaining a good balance between my own rawness and the strength they always look to me for!! What I was NOT prepared for was what hit me as they spoke to me. More then a few told me how scared they were to keep going without me in their corner and said, “we just don’t know what we are going to do without you!!” HOLY SHIT, that hit me like a ton of bricks…… What I was not prepared for was the thought that followed, “holy fuck, what am I going to do without THEM!?!?!?!?!?” You see for the last 16 years I have been directly involved with someone else’s healing process. I have had my hands on their souls and they have trusted me with with their deepest darkest pain, their most horrific traumas, they have been completely raw and looked to me to show them the way to a better life. They have shared hopes and dreams and weddings and births with me……. I have attended funerals and spoken at memorials and had to deliver the unimaginable news to far to many parents that their beloved child didn’t make it and wouldn’t ever be coming home. I have pulled myself out of bed in the middle of the night to show up in hospital rooms for clients who have been shot, been jumped and beaten to an unrecognizable state, overdosed and ended up on life support, and ran into crack houses and shooting galleries to pull people out because I was willing to fight for their life more than they were in that particular moment. I have hospitalized people against their will to keep them safe and walked with others as they went in voluntarily. I have sat for hours upon hours convincing people that life is worth living because in-spite of what they have experienced thus far, this world is a beautiful place and they deserve to be here!!! I have talked gently and firmly and yelled and screamed to get peoples attention……. I have witnessed people commit the bravest acts of their entire existence, facing their fears, healing their wounds and changing their lives!!! I have watched the light go off and seen people start to dream. I have witnessed the most gut wrenching painful processes and held a safe space for people to process the darkest moments of their existence. I have taken countless, middle of the night phone calls from unknown numbers praying it wasn’t the police, a hospital or a coroner. I have laughed and played and walked and thrown footballs and danced and shared meals and holidays with the most courageous souls I could ever imagine!!! I have held babies and attend graduations and driven people to first job interviews and celebrated first homes and cheered as they chased their individual dreams. I have walked through the gates of hell and sat in heaven with so many……… I have been honored enough to help in the darkest moments and blessed enough to celebrate the very best moments of their lives……. I type and wipe the tears and the cycle just keeps repeating. Every sweet face that I have ever had the gift of working with crossed through my mind…… The tears just won’t stop falling!!!! I mean what the HELL am I going to do without THEM!!!!! It’s hard to even begin to wrap my head around that thought!!! I have no idea and panic comes, so I just breathe and let it move through me. I let it take my breath away, I let the smiles and giggles come as well, I feel the light enter my being and I am washed with complete GRATITUDE for every second of it all!!!! Phew, I made it through that!!! It continues to come in waves but I am learning to ride this set much better!! Today when I woke up I was hit with another wave, a different wave, a wave that was unfamiliar! I was hit with the thought that this will be a week of “lasts”. Today was going to be my last Monday in the office, tomorrow would be the last Tuesday, etc…… I was already thinking of a way to get out of attending Friday as I imagined the goodbyes to be more than I could handle. As the anxiety rose, I returned to my breath and reminded myself to stay in this moment and stay present in the unfolding…… to walk through this gracefully and with clarity. So I arrived at work and it felt like I was on the Millennium Falcon bolting into another light system!!! I wanted it to all slow down, I wanted to enjoy every second, I wanted to just sit and talk and not train people or worry about all that needs to be accomplished!! Then it was 11:30, wow, where the hell did the morning go??? I walked down the hall to our standard team meeting…… As I approached the door I noticed a table of food (which we only have on family day or the rare occasion someone is leaving or someone is doing a presentation) My mind raced and scanned and there was nothing on my radar, as I open the door it hits me……. OMG, this is my going away lunch!! HOLY FUCK, this is for me…… NO, NO, NO!!!! I’m not prepared for this, I’m not ready for this, I can’t even BEGIN to deal with this, it’s not friday…… COMPLETE PANIC SETS IN!!!!! I walk back out the door and have to hold onto the table to remain standing…… I can hardly breathe!!! The tears are uncontrollable at this point. I convince myself that this is their process and they have the right to do it how they want and need to, but FUCK MAN, I wasn’t ready for this. I walk back in and sit down. They bought me an amethyst mala bracelet and they pass it around the room and each speak to me…… (This is a tradition we do for the clients when they graduate, they get “coined out”. It’s opportunity for everyone to say something impactful to the client as they leave the “nest of safety” and begin a new life. About 6 months ago I started doing it for employees that left on good terms to explore new opportunities….. Man did I regret putting this in place at this moment) I couldn’t stop crying…. the pain was so incredibly overwhelming at times……. I so wish I could have recorded each and every word because I have NEVER heard such beautiful and touching words ever spoken about one person, much less me, ever in my life!!!! I am completely blown away by how special I am to them, how loved I am by them, how respected I am by them!!!! I had no clue how much of an impact I had on my staff over the years!!! I am still hearing their words and feeling their love and letting it sink in. I know it will take days and weeks and even months to recognize the impact that lunch had on me, but I cherished every single moment. I have never felt my own heart break so many times in a 90 minute period!!! There are truly no words to describe how touched I am by the beautiful gifts they gave me. There were so many and even some for Sienna, but the very greatest is a scrap book. They each put a page together with the most incredible words and thoughts and memories……. I am beyond blown away by the thought and work that was put into this book and I will cherish it forever!!!! As this week of “lasts” unfolds at work I VOW to stay present and absorb every moment and receive it as the beautiful git that it is!!! My mind begins to wander to my friends and what this goodbye will be like and the panic returns!!!! I can’t even imagine having the strength to walk through those moments, yet in the same breath, I know I have everything I need within me to continue down this road!!! I know the Universe will provide me with everything I need, EXACTLY as I need it, to learn the lessons and receive the gifts in this INCREDIBLE unfolding!!!! To every single person who I have ever had the honor of working with, as either a client or a colleague, I am FOREVER in debt to you!!!! For you have all shown me how to be strong!!! Without witnessing your inspiring strength I’m not sure I’d have what it takes to chase my own dreams……. Thank you all for inspiring me to take the incredible leap I challenge you all to take on the daily!!