By Katy Canete
I was standing there with our son on the sidewalk, waiting for my husband, Rio's Dad to come home, when his car stopped in the middle of the street only a few blocks away and he died of a heart attack.
I was a new mother of a one-year-old son. My life as I knew it was totally shattered... So, just like that, just as Felipe’s entire life stopped mid-breath, my world came down around me. Almost three years ago now, I look at this marker of time and how my world was before this, and now after, and it just takes my breath away. It makes me stop and realize that today I am a totally different person.
I know it’s our natural tendency to not spend our days in the wonderment of the mystery of life. We would just all be floating around all day in awe. At the same time, I see life in a totally different way now as I do live the day to day. I had about a good year after Felipe died of living in the deepest mystery of what life is - why we are here, what is important - really getting my mind-blown with one revelation after the next.
I just let it happen. I let all of the illusions of my life from before my husband pass and drop away from me; dreams that I thought would happen, my identity as a wife, a two-parent family, financial security of a partnership. Everything that I thought was real that in the moment that Felipe passed, I was shown were total illusions.
I had to grieve each of those layers as they were revealed to me one by one, like:
“Oh, I thought this was true about my life. I thought I would grow old with this person and we would live here and there and would play tennis together, and go on these trips and have this house.”
We walk around thinking that our world is a certain way but really, in a moment all of that can change. We walk around in our stories and give a LOT of importance to those stories of who we are and what value we place on certain things, positive and negative. The truth is, all that we can ever hold onto is our PRESENT MOMENT. There is really nothing else that we can work from but our now. We have a choice to be completely present right now and feel as much ease, peace, joy and harmony as we want.
I challenge you to notice what you hold as true, fixed, permanent in your life. Where could you benefit from detaching a bit from certain things like feeling frustrated that this one thing didn't go the way you planned. Maybe if you looked at it through a different filter, it could be a totally different story.
In that first year of grief, I would watch a lot of documentaries about death and spiritual things. Something I found strangely comforting in my sadness was watching tsunami documentaries. It is a shocking and sad realization that people are having as they are calmly filming on their phone, and then all of a sudden the most life-altering and deadly circumstance that no one could ever fathom transpires. These videos would make me feel connected in my experience. They were a reminder that every single one of our "realities" are so fragile. How we get to work, what we eat, resources we have, the people we see everyday… nothing is static and unchanging and to be taken for granted. We must have so much gratitude for the things that we do have in our lives today, without fearing the worst that can happen by any means, but by living so fully in the moment that we can relish the time that we DO have with our loved ones. We can be so at peace in the “STORY” of who we are without being so attached to it that we can’t adapt, mold to the shifting tides and ultimately, be more present to what our life is giving us right now in this moment.
Crazy, real deal life stuff right there.
Summary: Gratitude every day. Life is magic and mystery and fragile. Do NOT waste your time on shit that you do not even want in your life.
I have come out on the other side of this path with so much love for me, my son and my world around me. Things look WAY different than I would have ever imagined for my life, yet there is so much joy, excitement for my life and all of the possibilities. I appreciate my moments. I embrace my emotions, my ups and down. I am often in my flow.
Yet... it is really frigging hard to be a single mom. I swear a lot. I don't sleep enough. I feel really old sometimes. It can feel stressful and overwhelming. And it's just okay for it to be messy, it just totally is an utter mess sometimes! But it's also just what it is. It's incredibly beautiful, it's working AND it's awesome.
When the shit hit the fan, I had been working part-time as a body worker and healer. We didn't have life insurance or much backup. I had to REALLY hustle. I had to come face to face with the WTF am I going to do to turn this life into a life that I love, a life that feels full and sustainable, a life that felt like ME, US... on our own. Me and my little babe.
Three blossoming businesses of pure love later, many turns of the moon and the sun and my son is six and I am thrilled to be teaching other single moms how to rock the shit out of their lives. I still do bodywork which is a true passion, especially pregnancy massage and I have worked with countless mamas over the last 10 years helping them to bring peaceful babies into the world. I help mamas RISE UP financially, energetically, turn their health around, start to date again from a place of deep joy and zen self- acceptance. I teach the how to be the most beautifully imperfect, positive, and peaceful mama you can be.
I practice what I preach: mindfulness, loving self-compassion and as much self-care as possible. As a single Mom you have to train the mind to rest. I teach moms how to feel deeply grounded into the natural rhythms of being a human being, that loving flow of acceptance, whole-heartedness and embracing the mystery of it all. I have seen countless people transformed with the power of witness and perspective. I am obsessed with building community for solo moms, creating support, holding people in their highest vision for their own selves and for their families.
Solo mamas are fierce, badass and are a highly underestimated bunch in this world. It takes a little traction and a lot of love, but taken it from me when I tell you it is totally possible to be more powerfully in love with your life and environment than you feel right now.
Let's Rise Up together!
Katy Canete has been a healer and bodyworker for over 10 years. She began Rise Up Mama because she realized that she was called to help other single mamas on their journey to health, wellness and peace of mind.
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