There are some journeys that cannot be measured by distance, time or a carry-on: they take place within and represent the thousands of footsteps we walk through the lands of our own spirits, hearts, and souls.

Having said that, I am actually taking a physical journey soon that has me spending my weekend packing, trying to cram all I’ll need for 16 days in Germany into a small suitcase. Thank goodness for the gift of sweater leggings is all I can say.

This is an emotional trip; I cried in the shower today over the meaning behind it; going to meet friends of my brothers he will never meet, so I can say goodbye in his stead.

My brother had these great friend that he knew from his online gaming community. If you’re part of any online community (including us bloggers), then you know that it is entirely possible to make a warm and fast acquaintance with someone you’ve yet to meet in person, but have had so much contact with- thanks to the multiple ways we can connect via technology- the relationship is straight, and real and true.

My brother had such friends; they were broken over his loss.

I was so touched last January by their words and stories and sentiments they shared about him that that, (along with my brother texting me about a week before he died and telling me how much he wished I would meet his friends in Germany someday) had me vowing I would make this trip before the year anniversary of his loss was up.

Someday is now in 3 days. It is with bittersweet irony in my heart that I write-

I just wish it didn’t have to look this way.

But it does look this way. And so I’m packing non-bulky, winter friendly, versatile items into a suitcase; making hotel reservations in places like Hamburg and Rosengarten, and doing a quick study on German phraseology- Gutten Tag and Auf Wiedersehen by the way.

I’ve sold my faithful old jetta, one road bike, and more shoes and clothing then I care to count in order to pay for this trip. But I’m doing it. Taking a leap of faith across the ocean that those words I vowed back in January, I swear I will make this happen, have a spiritual purpose and meaning for my heart that must be honored.

It is all unraveling this past season in life.

The containers I’ve been containing myself in- the solid therapist, the spiritual adviser, the loyal friend you can always tell your worries too, the dutiful daughter, the sunny disposition, the aching/grieving/hurting sister, the malnourished healer searching for places to be filled- have been falling apart, leaking together, blending their facets into a fine mess, so I can’t always tell where one role ends and the other begins-

death will do that to you, I believe, make all your edges and containers dissolve

-and I find myself at this precipice, as I stare 2017 in the eye, where I just want to be me.

Not some segmented, compartmentalized self, but a full scope of being who no longer needs to hide behind the constraints of roles.

I spent last week telling many of my clients that I’m moving and why. Because I need- in order for my own wholeness and belonging as a healer and practitioner- to know that anybody who chooses to journey with me across the ocean to continue our work together in a new office of teletherapy, knows me as a full human.

And know that the people I have held space for in my work, know enough about the space of me to know who I truly am.

Because those edges are dissolving and my books are coming out and my story is in them, and while I am committed to continuing to show up and do the professional work I feel called to do in this place, it needs to become more organic and integrated.

Looser. Less constrained. Free.

Like the clothing I’ve packed for this trip- a basic palette (okay, well you have to realize that “basic” to me does happen to include bright mustard, cherry red, deep burgundy, cobalt blue and slate gray) that should take me seamlessly from one place to the next, no matter what we are doing.

Because that is what I have learned from the loss of my brother, whose death is teaching me to live more authentically, truthfully and fearlessly; and that is what I desire as I lean into the face of 2017 and whisper my intentions to her silver-tipped lips:

I need to be whole. Non-compartmentalized. Seamless.

With as few constraints as I can.

To unite the psychologist with the writer with the spiritualist with the intuitive with the akashic with the shaman with the humanitarian with the griever with the lover with the daughter with the wife with the artist with the introvert with the empath with the human being with the person with the need for quiet and solitude and more time to just be….with me.

My suitcase- a clever palette of neutrality, versatility and cheer- is close to packed. Things are tightly rolled and crammed in the small container. But I have all the space I need inside my heart; this is not a trip of complexity, it is one of simplicity.

Whose sole purpose is to say goodbye for my brother. Whose sole purpose is to love.

Whose soul purpose is to travel without constraints, so I can sit with a new canvas of self; take out a fresh palette of paint-

-paint the first strokes of being whole,
just me and