10 Years After Molly

I didn’t think I’d survive it when I came home to find my cat, Molly, lying lifeless on the bathroom floor. She was only 4 years old, and despite a couple of frantic weeks spent trying to heal her from a sudden-onset autoimmune condition, losing her just wasn’t on my radar. I was newly divorced, working a stressful job, struggling with my health and finances, and hanging on by a single thread as it was.

That was 10 years ago today.

10 Years After Molly

Looking back, I won’t say it happened for a reason. I refuse to believe that Spirit ushers in sorrow to teach us lessons. We cause enough suffering for ourselves.

But, thanks to Molly, I do believe that positive shifts can happen in the wake of tragedy, especially when we can hold faith that all will be okay.

I didn’t have that at the time Molly broke my heart by leaving me prematurely. I’d been raised in a religion that left me feeling empty and disconnected, and I’d decided long ago that what others call “God” must not have been real. Neither were so-called “psychics” or this b.s. known as “energy healing.”

Sometimes, the fall against rock bottom is the very thing we need to crack open enough to finally allow the light inside.

In an act of sheer desperation, I took my friend’s advice to contact an animal communicator. After a week had gone by and I still could not pick myself up off the floor, I was willing to try anything that might help ease my grief. This single decision altered the trajectory of my entire life.

Not only did I receive closure and a comforting reassurance that Molly was okay, I also began to recognize how bits and pieces of childhood experiences I’d had with animals were parts of a much greater whole I wasn’t yet able to witness.

In fact, everything that happened in my life after that seemed to be tied together.

All the ups and downs and twists and turns were interconnected, and they were weaving me a new fabric of being–of showing up in the world.

Taking an introductory animal communication seminar inspired me to pick up books, attend more workshops, and seek new teachers in an array of spiritual and psychic development topics. I wanted to soak up everything I possibly could about Reiki and other energy-healing modalities, meditation, crystals, essential oils, and flower essences–to help animals and to help myself.

Eager to continue practicing with animal communication, I started my own business as a pet sitter and dog walker. My newfound passion for working with animals led me to enroll in a dog training certification program and gave me the confidence to leap from my full-time marketing job (with part-time adjunct teaching as a safety net) to start building a life I LOVE, even if I wasn’t yet sure what it looked like.

I ended a post-divorce relationship that was comfortable but wasn’t nourishing me at a soul level, and I took a year off from dating to learn how to be by myself. And then I had a couple of short-lived relationships that taught me that I still had much to learn about being with someone else.

After yet another sudden, painful breakup, I visited a practitioner friend at her new healing arts center, where I crossed paths with Dan.

When serious physical symptoms began to crop up and threaten to pluck me from my bliss, my preference for natural and holistic treatment approaches pointed me to a naturopathic doctor. My mention of work with animals clued her in that I may have had Lyme Disease.

Unfortunately, my relief over receiving a concrete diagnosis was short-lived, as my life and health got messier than ever. I lost control of my legs, suffered significant cognitive impairment, and was forced to give up most of what I’d worked so hard to gain because I could no longer keep up.

I began to question everything I thought I’d understood about spirituality and healing once again.

This compelled me to respond to a call from an acquaintance who was seeking clients for the internship portion of a life-coaching program. (Perhaps not-so coincidentally, I met this person through a virtual class I’d found out about from a former pet-sitting client.) I knew that if I was going to keep my chin up, I was going to need some serious support to process all the big and scary changes I felt so powerless against.

That’s where I first experienced the transformative power of personal coaching and felt called to pursue it myself. In doing so, it finally became clear how the road to happiness is not navigated by rejecting the truth in favor of superficial positivity, but rather, by having courage to face obstacles that bring a wide range of emotions to the surface.

My connection with Spirit–as a force that simultaneously lies deep within me and everywhere outside of me–grew stronger than ever.

The list of synchronicities over the past 10 years goes on and on before it culminates with a powerful retreat in the Catskill Mountains of eastern New York last weekend–which I was drawn to because of the facilitator’s connection to my chosen coaching program. Surrounded by a tribe of incredible women who were total strangers at the onset, I broke down barriers, examined ill-serving agreements, and literally walked across fire (3 times).

10 years ago, if you’d told me I’d be building a business around communicating with animals and empowering others to heal themselves and their relationships, I would have said you were crazy. If you’d told me I’d not only feel comfortable but like I actually belonged in a community where I didn’t know anyone and wasn’t in control, I would have made excuses about why I couldn’t be part of it. And if you’d told me I was capable of traversing 1100-degree coals with my bare feet, I would have told you go to hell, not realizing how I was already there.

I now know who I am and what I’m made of.

Molly’s passing, as devastating as it was, spurred a journey of transformation and spiritual awakening. Her legacy is no longer grief but instead a gift I get to share abundantly with others.

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