I laid awake for a time in the dark this morning, curled up into a fetal position under strange yet familiar surroundings. My thoughts wandered to where I was at that current moment. Pondering the conversation that bled into 12:30am with ancient sages disguised as vagabonds.
Because winter is a season of deep reflection, my blog posts will turn towards just that. These will be more spiritual in nature combined with a bit of creativity in the mix. I hope you enjoyed the series.
When faced with hard emotions during the holidays, it’s very easy to just given to the melancholy and allow it to overtake you. Or, you can push through the malaise, see it for the perception that it is and release it to the Universe. This is done through honesty, self reflection and stepping outside the boundaries you placed on yourself throughout life. I am no longer willing to allow the child within dictate my perception of reality. Instead I will take her hand and together we will learn a new way of perceiving the world around us through reconstructing our narrative from within.
Starting a new book with a local friend, client and mentor of mine. I cannot say exactly what is happening in my heart but there has been a Universal Shift that has happened inside of me. Spirit has removed all distractions and I find myself changing deep inside. It’s the metamorphosis that I knew was coming years ago while working in the corporate tech sector. The Genesis Journey if you will. Though I spent many years running from this part of my life, I am now facing it head on and moving forward. May each of you find the courage to walk that same journey.
The Genesis Journey
by Rebecca Withey
I feel the spirit move beneath me
Like a current toward some uncharted destiination
Once the revelation came forth
And the words spilled from my lips letting go
It turned some ancient key to unlock
A new adventure that had been patiently waiting
I stare into the noonday sky in wonder and awe
Anticipation tickling my skin and making the hairs
Stand in reckless abandonment
My head dizzy with delight, or is it hunger?
I’m not sure which but the strength of it
Pulls me forward
The need for control lingers in the background
Like some cold portrait over a fireplace hearth
Yet remembering the years held by its captivity
I chose to look away
My foot inching forward in a blinding trust
That I had forgotten to embrace for a time
This path being a stark stranger
One that I spent years running from
I chose the bondage of denial
Rather than the freedom within the pain
Putting my hand inside Yours
The empty air suddenly fills with
Warmth and tangibility
Like flesh forming from the ether
My life’s journey had brought Source
In victorious pursuit
As it sent Itself forth to seek me out
Alluring me into thinking
That all this time
I was the one searching
Copyright ©️ 2000 - Rebecca C. Withey - All Rights Reserved
Sometimes things happen in our lives that distract us from our own journey. For those of us who love to help, we can sometimes get so distracted in assisting others in our journey because we desire to have that same help should something happen to us. However, this rabbit hole leads us to endless opportunities of preventing us from providing for our own needs. Then we get mad if the other person doesn’t seem thankful for responds in the way that we had hoped.
It’s times like this we need to step back and remember who we are. We need to realize that we cannot get in the way of someone else’s path for the sake of assisting them with it. By giving them something we need to give ourselves, we make them little thieves in our lives. Plus, we rob them of the lessons they need to learn on their own.
Though the butterfly might struggle in coming out of the cocoon, it needs that struggle to develop the wings they need to fly. So we must focus on our own struggle out of the cocoon instead of trying to pry open the cocoon of others.
This poem was written as a call to myself for such a time as this.
Appeler a Soi
Forget not who You are
Your timeless, ancient soul
Do not forget the road you walk
With distractions big and bold
Forget not all the lessons learned
The strengthened cry within
Do not forget the traveled mile
That birthed you to begin
Forget not all the scrapes and scars
As you fought brush, tooth and nail
The scraped knee as you climbed the mount
With no harness, nor hand to bail
Forget not who You are
Do not fade into the night
For you hold the keys of secret hearts
As you light their highways bright
People will come and go in your life. But some people will completely change your life in the process of being around. That is what my late husband, Mark, did for me. Today is the two year anniversary of the day I received the idea for this story. I was sitting on my apartment porch in Citrus Heights, CA taking a much needed break from caring for my husband who had been in hospice since August 10, 2016. I was looking at the Oak trees that landscaped the beautiful complex which inspired the story. My husband passed the following afternoon.
Doing a project like this makes my heart take flight and helps me realize a little more of how our difficult life experiences can be turned into something beautiful. I hope you enjoy this tribute.
As a Creative, Producer and Designer, I am very much in my head most of the time. I am thinking of connections and possibilities. When facing personal circumstances of trauma and loss, it's very difficult for me to process my emotions without taking it outside of myself and work on it externally. That is exactly how A Bit of Forever was created. It's difficult for those who are affected by my writing to understand, but it's just the way that I process and the end result can greatly help other people dealing with what is going on in their own lives.
Recently, I started writing to process a one sided argument with someone who is no longer part of my life. Every time I read this piece to myself, the more self exploration I had into the real meaning behind my emotions and the more the poem morphed into its current form. What I ended up with was a beautiful, raw, authentic piece that was extremely healing in my walk. When I shared it recently on my Instagram page, a woman reached out to me thanking me for sharing it's message as she had recently started dating a widower who was still trying to come to terms with the loss of his wife two years ago. It's times like this that make me glad that I am Living Out Loud For All The World to Read.
The piece I wrote is below. I share it here to inspire you to create your authenticity and, maybe, the reach the heart of those who need to hear it.
Maybe it was never just about them
Or the way their attention distracted me from
My journey through the darkness
Maybe it goes way deeper than the
Momentary emotions that made my head spin
Or the desperate attempt to take a breath
That flooded my lungs
Spilling recklessly onto the floor
Without notice to my responsibilities
That haplessly fell from my arms that night
Maybe it was the overwhelming guilt I felt
Over surviving well past my loves expiration date
Or being relieved the fight was over
Instead of missing him with
Every fiber of my being
Because the wound was too great to bear
Maybe I was so desperate to be grounded again
And their smile
Made me feel alive for a moment
Tearing my heart away from home
Until the realization of my actions
Set in motion a shame
Ruining any chance that could have been had
As I desperately tried to build a new home
On shifting sands with rotting wood
Maybe it was about losing the life I dearly loved
The one held on to with white knuckles
Screaming and praying for it to stay
Only to watch it slip through my fingers
As I stood there coping without
Anyone to understand the traumatic experience
Of pouring my soul into his final breath
After facing that cross for years
And suddenly realizing I was no longer
Wife, nor lover, nor best friend
Maybe it was the lack of identity that I felt
Or the grief that blinded me into hoping that
I could feel normal for a time
When all I needed was someone who would
Just hold me
Or ask if my empty shell needed anything
No, not from the store,
But from a giving heart to help me understand
The train wreck inside my chest
Maybe my frantic emotions
Coupled with the wine
Got the better of me
As they happily tweeted and texted their tribes
While I was drowning in the loss of mine
My stomach sick
Wishing I could nest my brokenness
With someone who really got it
Who could take care of me until my soul
Returned to my body
Maybe I searched from heart to heart
Mirroring their own wandering affections
Hoping to find someone who could
Truly hear me past their own thoughts
Truly connect to the shadows within
And show me how I could be
Maybe it wasn’t just about them
They just happen to
Invade with their own brokenness
As this house of cards crashed down to the ground
Maybe, for that,
I’m truly sorry
After a long two months in Berkeley, California being the Assistant Director of a Tech Summer Camp for kids, I am finally back in Sacramento. This summer was insane, fun, exhausting and was not what I expected. But I got through it, completed my job to the best of my ability, and allowed it to focus me in the direction I want to go next. I have "management" experience on my resume and I made it through some of the hardest work I have ever done.
So what is on the agenda now? Jumping back into creative work doing voiceovers, design, writing and directing a film. I hope to complete the animation of my first short story - The Mighty Oak. I also hope to start on a new feature-length film continuing the story of Christine from my short film A Bit of Forever.
On an even more exciting note, the audiobook I narrated is available now on Amazon and Audible. New to audiobooks? Click on the picture below and start your trial with the audiobook today!
I recently closed a painful chapter of my life and moved on. I was invited by a dear friend to join him in launching his boat for the summer in Poluck Pines. What an amazing weekend. This was a welcome transition from moving out of my home I spent over a year building and destroyed over a few careless words as well as the release of a year of frustration and anger. The invitation from my friend was simple. Come up and just enjoy life, and that I did. From the engaging conversation, wonderful connection to nature and the seemingly easy partnership that occurred, it was a clear reminder to me that I still belonged here on this earth.
Don’t ever forget to be happy with your life. It’s better to live in the skin you have been given than to spend your life wishing you were someone or something else.
We all have our proud moments. Whether it's watching the first steps of our baby walk across the room, supporting someone walk across the stage with that degree they worked hard for, or watching the hard work of others be celebrated. We all stand, arm in arm, with one another in celebration of their accomplishments, and this moment is one of those experiences.
Coming from a place of brokenness and having my previous life crumble to pieces, I have emerged stronger and more focused on the possibilities of what has been placed before me. This song embraces how the expectations of others that try to chain us down can help bring clarity and vision to your life. Don't give up.
My girlfriend asked my girl crew to go away with her. She needed some time out of her normal space and I knew the perfect place. The Round House. So three of us decided to rent this space for the weekend. With my home life in flux and deadlines quickly approaching, you would think it would have been a good time to stay at home and get things done. On the contrary. I needed this as much as my girlfriend.
In November of 2017, I was commissioned to do a wonderful audiobook for a self-published author of a Young Adult Fantasy Romance. I had just gotten back into short form voice acting and this was my first time doing long form narration. I explained upon taking the assignment that I could not work on the piece until my Winter Break due to my work schedule and other voiceover projects. She agreed and I planned to have the book done within the month I was off.
That is not how things went. Not even the slightest.
Once off, I was barraged with repair requests from the house owner in which the first week and a half we had four to five contractors come through and fix and inspect various things in the house. Then there were the holidays. Then my winter break was suddenly over.
WAH WAH WAH
No problem. I still had three months to get this 10 hour book done. However, I realized within recording the first chapter that I had to severely edit my narration to make it sound smooth and professional. This was because of the road noise next to my house. This took alot more time than expected and pushed my project back to April 1st.
Then suddenly, I found myself having to move on top of getting a summer job out of town. Needless to say I am now facing having to do this project within a short period of time and all in time before I pack up my home, and recording booth, for the summer.
This does not come off as very professional. However, I found something strangely wonderful about this whole experience. The author ended up liking the fact that the project was going slowly because of her own schedule in reviewing the audio chapters. This symbiotic relationship has turned into a unique, creative partnership for not only this project but voicing her other books in the future. It has opened up ideas and ways to edit future volumes that might not have been considered before. We both are growing in an instrumental and creative way.
So when life interrupts your projects, especially professional endeavors, look at why it's happening and how everyone can benefit from the way things are going. Do your best to work around it, don't judge yourself for not meeting your own expectations and embrace the growth process embedded within the experience.
You will be a much better creative in the long run.
That would be the one word that describes a part of my personality. Not that I come to each moment in robust pride and over exaggerated self-confidence, but something in me stays true to who I am deep within, regardless of the expectations of others. Especially when it comes to my creative nature.
My father had a hard time accepting my creativity because, of course, all artists are starving...right? And the last thing a parent wants is a dependent child who puts their art above being a self sufficient contributor of society. My mother was the compassionate supporter and did her best to balance the frustration of my paternal caretaker. Almost to the point of codependency. While I faced one challenge after another, I stayed true to the creative person inside of me all the while trying to be a responsible adult for everyone around me.
Creativity became my outlet of self-discovery. No matter the emotion or issue, I would write, sing, dance, act, film or compose music to process my emotions. It was a way for me to take my thoughts and feelings outside of myself and work my way logically around the situation before putting it back in my head. The amazing thing about this process of using creativity to sort out the mysteries of life is how many people relate to the piece created.
Being a creative person facing tragedy and severe loss can propel you into turning around your own circumstances through that creativity. According to an article written in the Huffington Post:
"An emerging field of psychology called post-traumatic growth is suggesting that many people are able to use their hardships and early-life trauma for substantial creative growth. Specifically, researchers have found that trauma can help people to grow in the areas of interpersonal relationships, spirituality, appreciation of life, personal strength, and — most importantly for creativity — seeing new possibilities in life."
Some people have not understood this creative process of figuring out life. I had a grief counselor tell me that I had exacerbated the grief process by writing and filming A Bit of Forever. On the contrary. I prepared myself mentally, emotionally and physically for the journey I had perceived was coming. And when that time and moment came, my mind was set that tomorrow would be a better day than today. That film has touched many lives both through the making and viewing of it.
Tenacity was the beginning of my journey into writing, design, music and filmmaking.
So I encourage you, continue in your creative efforts of self discovery and expression. It may just change your perspective all the while touching lives of all those around you.
It has now been a year and a half since my life drastically changed by the passing of Mark after a five year battle with Colon Cancer. Since then, life has been busy. I fell in love too soon, moved, started a new company, became an empty nester, did a few shows, directed a short film, got my heart broken, started a new job, took on new work as a voiceover artist/narrator, got through my second set of holidays without my normal family unit, and started Griefshare. To say this year and a half was filled with just as many challenges as the five year prior battle is an understatement, but through the difficulties of this time I have grown in ways that I didn’t think possible.
The first being that I am learning to take care of myself emotionally. I know this should sound like a given, but for 16 years I had a love that had intertwined itself around my psyche. I shared everything with him. Every thought. Every emotion. Every dream. Every fear. Every passion. All of who I was. With two words of “I do”, the foundation of trust and love was laid. It is what I had prayed for and what I had received. However, in my new life the relationship I found myself in was filled with periods of loneliness and such emotional distance that I realized that I could not be the same way with this person as I was in my prior life. I had to start hiding more of myself because as I shared who I was, the more they separated themselves. This caused me to go internal, went quiet and start finding other ways to care for my own emotional needs.
So what does it look like to go from a partnering relationship to a self dependant relationship? Well, at first it was very lonely. Even in the middle of a relationship, loneliness was my constant partner. I had become so used to having my heart rest in the nest of someone else’s hands that I forgot what it was like to hold it in my own. And as the people in my life around me failed to be there over and over, I got stronger and learned to stand on my own again. But the biggest factor that helped me was my faith.
I was getting into some pretty strange things that really contradicted the promises I made to myself as a Child of God. It was out of fear, running from the trauma of losing Mark, yet anxiously searching for the same spiritual and emotional connection that I had before that drove me to worldly spiritualism. But all of those other things made me feel like I was running after the wind when I needed roots grown deep into the earth to ground me. And as I sat in bed alone, crying, shaking, feeling numb, that my spirit started to cry out.
As I had written before in a previous blog post, it only took one spark to get the fire going. I’m so grateful for my friend to have spent the time with me and asked me the deep questions that was part of turning my eyes back to God. In the past month, I have found my footing on firm ground again as my conversations with God grows stronger and stronger. I talk with Him on a daily basis through worship and prayer. Knowing He is constantly by me and loves me with such a deep love cures the loneliness that I have been suffering with. And regardless of my emotions or decisions I have made based upon them, His love is always there to surround me, to fill me.
Being a true romantic, connection, affection, beauty and love are at the core of who I am. It is the river that flows deep within my soul. And God’s love is the only thing that is high, deep and wide enough to fill this seekers heart. Mark and I got along so well because we both reflected that same love. So it is best for me to strengthen myself in that Love on a daily basis. It is my sanity. It is life to these dry bones.
Now, I find myself enjoying time alone and taking care of myself. I still have so many thoughts and dreams I want to share with someone, and I do. I share them with God. With friends and family. With writing in my journal and through social media. I find the connections and validations when sitting alone in a movie theater and a story jumps out a certain truth to me.
I may never find that type of understanding again in a human being here on earth, but my heart is open should that be God’s will for me. In the meantime, I am learning, growing, thankful for every moment and enjoying this journey. I am finding the fingerprints of God through every person I encourage and inspire. I hear God through the laughter of friends and family. I am feeling His love during the quiet times when spending time in nature or laying in my bed alone. I am surrounding myself with quality people who are kind, courageous, generous, loving, patient, inspirational and encouraging themselves. I realize that God has given me everything I need for an abundant life so I am purposefully seeking to live that abundant life.