1 year after my mom died and I receive this gift

In My Adventures by Grace Van BerkumLeave a Comment

As a little girl, I used to give my mother presents on her birthday that I made because I didn’t have any money. I remember once saving up quarters and dimes that I collected from the streets over a period of time and bought her a mug that said I love you Mom. She used to get angry at me and tell me not to waste my money because she was sick and her life meant nothing. She never acknowledged my gifts. She hated my gifts. It would hurt me very much because I was just trying to express my love for my mother and I was continually rejected. As an adult now who has worked so hard on forgiveness and compassion, I see now how sad, pained, and tortured she was. It wasn’t about me. But at the time, as a 5, 10, 15, 20 year old child I became scarred. My mother was indeed very sick her whole life and she often did take out her suffering and anguish on me. For most of my life her pain became my pain. And perhaps there will always be some of her pain that resides in me until the day I leave this earth. But everyday I work on healing my heart and making peace with my past. And isn’t that what life is all about? Making peace with our pieces so that eventually there are no pieces and we are one peaceful whole???  I believe so.
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In the last 2 years I have become more vocal about my painful past because it has been part of my healing journey. But I also realize that speaking out about my childhood abuse has helped hundreds of others. It has helped me release guilt, shame, blame, & anger and I know that these lessons I have learned have been an opportunity for me to let go and grow, and teach others to do the same. Sometimes it is difficult for me (like today’s post is a little hard) but for the most part it has been so FREEING in ways that I can’t explain. When you keep a secret your entire life it eats away at you every single day. Now I have nothing to hide and most of all, I have realized I have nothing to be ashamed of. I have realized that continuing to work on my voice and authentic truth is healing, and helps others to heal. We are all in this thing called life together.  I could write so much more about my chaotic, abusive childhood but I will save that for my life book one day. This is not why I am writing today. I have something big to announce! Don’t be sad for me because I have never been more empowered, healthy, happy, strong, or free than I am living in this moment of my life TODAY! Be happy for me! 🙂

It is the 1 year anniversary of my mothers death. So much has happened in this last year. So much. It’s been challenging to say the least but what can you do. You have to deal with what life throws at you and move on. You can’t control it. To try and control it is to suffer immensely. We have to step up to the plate and do our best to navigate ourselves through chaos and stress and know that it simply can not last forever. There is always an end. And there is always a beginning. And you do the best you can to be present thoughout all of it and simply ride it out.

I really believe my mother is all around me now. She is now able to be the mother that she always wanted to be. She is now able to be the mother that I always wished for. Peaceful, loving, embracing, supportive. My mother is all around me now as an angel from nature, an angel in nature, supporting my existence and teaching me how to live as nature does.

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The death of my mother has played a paramount role in the birth of my new dream project. I left Canada 5 years ago and everything I knew to go into an unknown part of the world for me, and live my dream. I didn’t know exactly why, I didn’t know how, but all I knew is that I just had to go or I was going to live miserably. I couldn’t run from the calling of my heart anymore. It wasn’t a whisper anymore; it was a loud roar:

GO LIVE ON A BEACH.
EAT FRESH FOOD FROM THE EARTH.
SWIM IN THE OCEAN.
LIVE LIFE ON YOUR OWN TERMS.
TEACH WHAT YOU KNOW.

I swear to you this is all I heard and I couldn’t escape it. Everyday all I heard was go live in nature. Go back to nature.
I had to know if I could do it. There was no other alternative. I had to listen to this inner god damn voice that literally wouldn’t shut up. I couldn’t live with regret. I had to try.

So I sold all my stuff.
Said my good byes.
I cried.
But I knew I had to go.
And I left.

5 amazing, transformational years later, many, MANY adventurous travel stories, new friends, 25+ countries, 75+ retreats, beaches, mountains, jungles, islands, cities, trainings, births, deaths, loves, breaksups, exotic animal selfies (lol), you name it…and I have found myself in Nicaragua…. about to build my dream retreat home!

It is happening. Because of my inner voice. Because of my courage to take risks. Because of my dedication to my healing and living my own truth. But also because of my mother. I wouldn’t be able to do this without the gifts my mother left me. They are all gifts in the end…even the trauma. I know that forgiveness is a gift of self-love. Being able to forgive opens my heart and connects me to the loving flow of the universe.  I am part of that flow. And I want more of that flow. Inadvertently, the lessons I learned from my sick mother, who I know loved me very much but also abused me most of my life, taught me all this. So they are gifts. And here’s the kicker….she also left me another gift when she died.  To build my dream. The dream I have been waiting my whole life for. I am starting to see that this entire whirlwind ride has been divine timing.

When my mom used to lock us up in our rooms, sometimes for days, I remember looking outside the window and imagining me escaping. And for some reason I would always see this image of a beach in my mind. Whenever I would day dream of escape I always found myself on my beach. Always. I don’t know where it came from because we were never allowed to watch tv. And I had never been to a beach. I was only  5 years old when I rememeber having these images of ocean all around me and walking on the sand in bare feet.

And now I am finally about to live in nature like I always imagined.
Today marks the official day that building begins on my land in Nicaragua.

To make this story even more interesting, today is my mother’s birthday. My dream is officially happening because of my mother, on the day of her birthday, 1 year after she has left this earth.

I get goosebumps as I type this.
Life is such a trip.

My mother could never accept my gifts when she was alive, but now that she has died, she is able to gift me the biggest gift of my life.

Thank you mom. I always loved you no matter what. And I will always love you and be greatful for the lessons and the gifts.

It’s all over now. It’s all beginning now.
With every death, there is birth.
And a new, exciting chapter in my life commences.

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LET’S DO THIS!

May I introduce to you the beginnings of Gracious Living Oasis.
My new home. Soon to be a place where I can teach you, feed you, and host you.

“As you walk through the desert of life, may you always find your OASIS — a place where you can find safety and sustenance.”

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76 + coconut trees, 26+ avocado trees just planted….Screen Shot 2015-10-18 at 2.30.19 PM
The gardens are growing….
Azul gardens in the making
I call this the Buddha tree right near where the yoga deck is going to be……
Contemplation Tree
Nicaraguan workers working hard on the restaurant ready for Dec….
carpenters preapre the wood
These super special healing trees are Neem trees I have 6 on my property…..Neem trees
Follow our building progress on Instagram and Facebook:
#GraciousLivingOasis
#GraciousLivingLifestyle
#NicaraguaRetreats
#AzulNicaragua
#EcoCommunity

OPEN

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