I was 11 years old and living in Haiti during an intense revolution.
Angry crowds from the under-privileged assembled in front of homes owned by the privileged. They expressed their anger in many ways that included destruction, stealing, and murder. My father’s leadership position in the government made our home a target and we feared the worst.
One evening, I experienced a strange feeling and inherently knew I should not stay in my bedroom. I dragged my mattress into my parent’s room and refused to go anywhere else. Soon after, large numbers of rocks began to pound at our doors and windows. What separated us from the angry crowd was a single gate made of iron.
Though we made calls to the military, no one came.
After hours of agony, the iron-gate began to crack under pressure. I was curled under a dresser when I heard the gate crashing open in defeat.
Just as the crowd began to descend upon our home, a military man entered the scene and shot his gun into the sky. His shooting caused the crowd to disburse and within a few crucial minutes, we were saved.
An assessment of our home after the event showed that the largest number of boulders were thrown into one room. Anyone who remained in this room would not have survived. That room was mine.
This moment taught me the power of intuition and it’s force on my inner rhythm.
I was brought up in a life of privilege but after my father was exiled, my life changed significantly. I was suddenly living in New York, working multiple jobs, attending school, and trying to stay afloat. Needless to say, it was a challenging time and I was humbled.
As I worked to put myself through school, I fell in love, got married and raised a family. Since my husband was in school, I found myself as the primary breadwinner for my new family as well as my extended family.
My life was not what I thought it would be.
It was easy for me to ‘go through the motions’ because I was overwhelmed with the burdens of life. I grew up in a long line of women who genuinely thought of others before themselves and I was following in their footsteps.
I put my own life on hold and told myself that my extended family needed me. The guilt of not being near them was so powerful that it stopped me from moving forward.
I was actually ignoring the intuition that once led me to safety!
To have the life I wanted, I had to live MY truth. I became comfortable with saying “no” and focused what I wanted to do versus what I “should” do. I discovered that relocating my family to Florida was necessary and I had to put aside my guilt to make it happen. The irony of the guilt was that my extended family was just fine! They encouraged me to go. And they were fine without me.
In freeing myself, I gave myself the gift of personal power and reunited with my inner rhythm. Best of all, my extended family moved to Florida and now lives just a few miles from me! Yet another lesson for me to always trust myself, listen to my intuition and remain connected to my inner rhythm. Guilt is a useless emotion!