efbastrongTrue story.

I’m standing at the kitchen counter.

“Babe, do you know which glass is mine?” I ask, staring at the three identical half-full glasses of water. (Clearly I have succumbed to that thing married people do, which is to become entirely helpless when their partner is present.)

“Ummmm, I don’t know, but also… Honey? I think I defrosted a mouse in one of those.”

Oh.

My.

God.

I almost drank mouse water.

My beloved and I stare at each other. My face is The Scream from the Edvard Munch painting. His is the sheepish-but-slightly-panicked emoji muppet grin.

You will be happy to know that Nick made it out alive.

But oh my lord, THE THINGS THAT HAPPEN WHEN YOUR KIDS HAVE A SNAKE.

Guys, my life has changed radically in the past few months. Until recently I was a single mom to one 9-year-0ld girl, living in Portland, blocks away from all the hipster happenings, and now I’m a married mom of five living in the burbs driving a minivan and juggling bottles and diapers. Sometimes I am deeply homesick for the trees and flowers and soft damp air. I miss my friends and our picnics and talks so badly it hurts. And even though we all speak English, it turns out that I am very much a foreigner here in my wonderful guest country of Canada.

But I wouldn’t change any of it for a second.

People ask me all the time how we’re all doing, in that nervous sort of way that implies, “Since clearly your hair is an indicator that things have gone downhill…????”

And the answer is that we are doing GREAT.

Which doesn’t mean that life is perfect.

Of course not.

Because if you’ve ever wanted to do something easy-peasy, you should try blending households and kids and moving to a different country while also undergoing massive identity changes both separately and together. {Insert manic cackle here.}

Things can be messy, and challenging, and mystifying, and fascinating and hilarious and wonderful and GREAT all at the same time.

I’ve been through massive upheaval before. I’ve moved suddenly, changed careers, gone on tour with a few weeks’ notice, broken up long-term relationships, and walked away from jobs, countries, and even a religion.

This time, it’s different.

Is it hard? Absolutely. The hardest thing I’ve ever done.

But I am not broken this time.

I am a whole and healthy person taking on an incredible challenge.

Before, I was a survivor staggering out the wreckage, each next step driven by nothing but determination and gritted teeth and an intense stubborn refusal to be vanquished.

A survivor is a valiant, brave, heroic thing to be.

(Let’s pause for a moment of respect to all survivors, whether you’ve staggered through an assault, a divorce, a betrayal, a war, system oppression, or a blow of fate or luck or genetics.)

This time, I’m not surviving this.

I am EFBA-ing it.

I entered into this challenge joyfully, deliberately, and in great fighting shape. I was strong and whole mentally, physically, and emotionally. I was READY.

That still doesn’t mean it’s easy! But I’m fundamentally Oh-KAY in a way I didn’t used to be. I have a deep sense of purpose, resolve, and loving commitment that carries me through the tough moments.

Am I telling you this to gloat? No, dearheart. I promise. If it makes you feel any better, sometimes I feel so blearily exhausted, three months postpartum with four beautiful new children in a country where I speak the language but can’t work the parking meters, that I can cry from sheer bewilderment.

No gloating here.

I just want to tell you that if, right now, it’s taking all your might to stagger forward, hear me whisper to you that if you keep going, things will get better. And if you’re diving deep into your own healing, hear me tell you that it is NEVER too late to heal your heart, nourish your spirit, and come out whole and stronger than you ever imagined. And if you’re in a period of wonderful rest and nourishment right now, hear me urge you to soak up as much as you can because soon enough some worthy challenge will present itself to you, and you will be so glad that you are ready to meet it well-rested, happy, and with a full larder and fantastic network.

Glennon Doyle always tells her people, “Carry on, Warriors. We can do hard things.” And I want to echo her, and add, “Don’t quit, EFBAs. Keep telling the truth, and the truth will change…and it will change you.”

I’m still living my own journey, walking my walk day by day, through the hard times and through the beautiful ones. I didn’t make up our EFBA mantras out of nowhere– I whispered “Tell the truth and don’t quit” to myself when I wanted to lie down and give up, and I whispered “You are a fucking cathedral” to myself when emotions that were intense almost beyond bearing poured through me, and I whispered “If you want a beautiful life, you have to be fierce about it” to myself when the dust cleared after yet another life explosion and I looked around and decided I was ready to create something more green and peaceful and lovely to live in.

Here’s the thing.  If I can do it, you can too.  Sometimes all you need is someone to cheer you on.  To tell you you’re good enough, and big enough, and fierce enough. That you’re ALLOWED. And sometimes you need to be that person for yourself.

You’re bigger than you know.  The EFBA is strong in you.

So remember– tell the truth and don’t quit. You are a fucking cathedral. And if you want a beautiful life, you have to be fierce about it.

Much love, 

Anna

P.S. If you are on the cusp of big change and you want me to personally walk you through the coming year, you should know that I’m currently taking applications for my private mentorship for 2017. I’ll be by your side as you take risks, be your safe place to land, and spur you on to create the life you dream of…aw hell, one even better than you ever LET yourself dream of. Doors close Wednesday; all details are HERE.

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