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My Discovery Of A Beautiful Pain & The Road To Radical Self Acceptance

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It was the end of the summer and I was injured.

“No sweat,” I figured. Nothing a little yoga wouldn’t mend in a couple of days. . . but for some reason, it didn’t. After a massage, Acupuncture and Ayurveda  it only got worse. This had never happened to me before. I was terrified.
I had big plans. I was set to go to my friend Hagar’s wedding, take a business trip to Northern California, head to Arizona to do some yoga, fly out to New York for RHH Live and finish out in Charleston where I’m speaking at Kris Ward’s event – AY Live.

John Lennon said, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” So true. 

It wasn’t the threat to my big plans that got me. It was more the timing around doing the necessary, time-consuming work on an old wound I thought I’d healed. When healing knocks you gotta listen.

Unraveling starts with the tiniest trigger.

If you’re like me, you probably ignore the little messages because you are an activator until they overtake you completely. Don’t worry. There will be a way for you to work through this. Be present within yourself. It can open you to these triggers, these places that need healing.

Clues come in all shapes and sizes.

It was not the injury that started this unraveling, but an entirely separate event.

It was time for my friend’s wedding. My body was hurting. I was dealing with worsening nausea from the pain.

Before the rehearsal dinner, I felt so sick I nearly sent my regrets to the bride and her family. Knowing panic wouldn’t solve anything, I quieted myself. I asked the pain what it wanted me to know.

I heard TRUST.

Listen to the voice inside.

Last minute something inside said, “GO!” When that happens, I listen.

At the dinner I watched both families support their children. LOVE was in the room and expanding. My heart busted open as I watched. There is nothing in the world more healing than immersing yourself in a place of good energy like that. Love and laughter are the best medicine.

Next day was the wedding. I still felt a bit woozy, but I took it easy and felt better. Later on that night at the ceremony, more love and heart opening. I witnessed such beauty and couldn’t stop crying with joy for the families. It was magical almost like a dream.

A beautiful pain.

I still felt pain, but a new pain. It was in my heart. I know from the work I do and teach that embracing any pain, emotional or physical, is the way to heal any wound no matter how old it is.

Later that night, I looked on with the bride’s father as she danced with her sister under the dreamy spotlight. He turned to me and said “Look at those girls. They are incredible. They are wonderful people. I cannot take any credit.”

There goes another trigger.

My nausea immediately returned. My body trembled. I did everything to be in the love, and only felt more ill. The love was foreign, to me because my own father hasn’t been in the picture since I was five.

Jung on father daughter relationships.

A mentor of mine recently described Jung’s take on father daughter relationships. The daughter’s development, whether her leanings are feminine or masculine, is a direct result of her relationship to her father. If the father is more focused on ‘masculine’ traits - accolades, accomplishments, results, then his daughter reflects them. Similarly, if he focuses on her emotions, she will exude more ‘feminine’ traits.

This one caught my attention. I remember saying “Then where does that leave me?” I barely had a father. No one asked how I felt. They wanted to know how I did.

Another trigger was set. Another clue…

HEALING is a mysterious process.

Next day I woke up feeling sick. My body ached. I was hung over emotionally. I cried and still wasn’t sure why. I was so tender.

We had one more event, a picnic in the park. I felt unbearable, was unbearable and was going to stay home. But the voice inside said “GO!”, and I listened.

My hubby said “You can stay home.”

“I have to go.” I replied. Something was moving me.

I felt as heavy as a storm cloud. My entire body was sluggish. We made it there and I just stayed quiet.

It was party after party. I wanted to partake in the joy and only could feel this heavy ache. Little did I know, its source was about to be revealed.

We were packing up food from the picnic. I watched bread being stuffed into a plastic bag and imagined it bursting, leaving crumbs and crust everywhere.

We were talking about how beautiful the ceremony was, how moved I was by her parents love for her. It was a special love I’ve always yearned for — parental love. Something I “thought” I had made peace with not having…

Suddenly, I overheard about her bachlorette party I hadn’t been invited to.

The last trigger was set.

I lost it. No more holding back. OMG! What is this? I ran to the bathroom, said I was having pain in my hip to cover it up.

The veils came down.

I tried to talk to myself to keep it cool. “NO WAY,” said my heart, “I’m letting it go.”

I walked out of the house to get some fresh air and wailed. I cried a deep pain, mourning a deep loss. I began to feel the pain and see the beauty. I began to accept what was, and stopped stuffing it into a plastic bag to seal it up.

My husband came out to comfort me and I collapsed in his arms. I could not stop this primal cry for my soul’s evolution.

We drove to the house for the wedding clean up, and I couldn’t go in. I sat and cried. Together my husband, I discovered my phantom pain.   [check out the pic of the double rainbow that was above us.]

We all have them. YES, you will be able to heal them.

I cried in his arms, my face was all snotty. Afterwards, he said “That was so beautiful. I saw your heart more than ever before.”

I felt the loss, was grieving my losses, relationships that ended and had to let it release. Once I did that, what came to the surface was something I never felt. I wanted to quit. WHAT?

I never, ever, ever want to quit.

I had to let this go, let it move through me and began to carve my way back to radical self acceptance.

Accepting my situation. Accepting everything I felt. Accepting the ugly. Accepting my wanting to give up. Accepting my pain.

This path towards a beautiful pain and radical self acceptance starts with grieving. Then you can see beauty that leads to joy. This is the way to sustainable healing. Otherwise, the triggers start on the lowest grade and move up until they break you open.

The most important part is to accept those around you. Accept how they love you. Accept what you do not have. Accept what you do have. Accept what is.

I feel blessed to have a husband and friends who I can process my deepest healing with. They provide judgement-free zone. And if I did not listen to my pain, to that voice, who knows where I would be today? The triggers that lead me to heal an old wound around my father issues, losses and struggles no longer brings me pain – it gives me a new understanding of joy.

I found the only way to heal is to go inside, even if you don’t know WTF is happening. Don’t be afraid.

If you’ve been pushing down pain from your past, not processing deep feelings, not sure of your triggers or what your phantom pain is, I would be happy to support you.

I have some slots open for you to set up a complimentary strategy session and we can begin your process to radical self acceptance.

I know how painful it is to have those triggers set off. So let’s clear you up and take time for you. It’s free of charge, and I promise you: it’s worth it.


Hillary Rubin

Hillary Rubin, a Spiritual Life Design Coach, wellness pioneer and certified Anusara™ yoga teacher guides women around the world to become who they want to be but were afraid to be. She has been featured on Fit TV, in The Los Angeles Times, The Independent, Yoga Journal and contributes to the Huffington Post and Origin magazine. Hillary is also writing her first book to help women alchemize adversity into action, with the forward by Agape Founder Michael Bernard Beckwith. Visit her here + connect with Hillary on twitter @hillaryrubin.


Melody's picture

Wow, that's a beautiful pain story Hillary!


Amazing how you went anyway, even though you felt really bad AND had a valid excuse of not attending all the events of the wedding.

Sounds like you had an extremely amazing release. I saw pics of you at RHH Live :-) Thankful you didn't quit.


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