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As most of you know and others have no idea, my second daughter was born with a terminal liver disease. She lived for 32 years. She was my teacher and for that I am grateful. Today is about acceptance. Right now life is turned upside down and we don’t know what to expect, plan for, think about or are afraid to imagine. Yet here we gather on a daily basis taking time for our self-care through silence so we can listen to our soul, listen to our heart, listen to the quiet. We are getting to know ourselves from the inside out, not the outside in. The piece I have chosen to read today is used as a metaphor.


by Emily Perl Kingsley

When you’re going to have a baby, it’s like you’re planning a vacation to Italy. You’re all excited. You get a whole bunch of guidebooks, you learn a few phrases so you can get around, and then it comes time to pack your bags and head for the airport. Only when you land, the stewardess says, ‘WELCOME TO HOLLAND.”

You look at one another in disbelief and shock, saying, “HOLLAND? WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? I SIGNED UP FOR ITALY.” But they explain that there’s been a change of plan, that you’ve landed in Holland and there you must stay. “BUT I DON’T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT HOLLAND!” you say. ‘I DON’T WANT TO STAY!” But stay you do.

You go out and buy some new guidebooks, you learn some new phrases, and you meet people you never knew existed. The important thing is that you are not in a bad place filled with despair. You’re simply in a different place than you had planned. It’s slower paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy, but after you’ve been there a little while and you have a chance to catch your breath, you begin to discover that Holland has windmills. Holland has tulips. Holland has Rembrandts.

But everyone else you know is busy coming and going from Italy. They’re all bragging about what a great time they had there, and for the rest of your life, you’ll say, “YES, THAT’S WHAT I HAD PLANNED.” The pain of that will never go away.

You have to accept that pain, because the loss of that dream, the loss of that plan, is a very, very significant loss. But if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn’t get to go to Italy, you will never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things about Holland.

Participant Reflections:

  • Practicing breathing - When fearful, not breathing. In this moment, I am ok

  • If you can’t get out of it, get into it

  • Find the blessings on each day. This group is an expected gift

  • Bloom where you are planted

  • Used to close connections with family, being close to others - If you can't be with the one you love, love the ones you are with

  • The love can't be taken away

  • A lot of immigrants came and had to learn new trade, be flexible, do both uniquely and inspiringly

  • You can't always get what you want

  • This will go on, birds are singing

  • Globally people are getting to know themselves from inside out. Will have new perspective when emerge

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