A year of Cleansing

When I chose “Cleansing” as my word for 2018, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. 2017 was a difficult year with the loss of our business, and therefore for me, a loss of sense of purpose, direction and income.

My hope was that going into 2018 with a mindset of cleansing would help me to shed those feelings of shame and disappointment. I also thought it would take a couple of months for me to “get over it” and “move on”.

Turns out that wasn’t the case. AT ALL.

Ray and I rang in the New Year at a friend’s house, and stayed up past midnight, chatting with new people and sharing food and wine. Here was the sign that 2018 was going to be filled with new experiences, new people, new beginnings. I was feeling optimistic and happy about the future.

 Cleansing my soul

I attended the Work of Heart weekend in February and journaled in my workbook about the obstacles I identified. It was a safe and nurturing space and it helped me to move forward.

The following months brought ups and downs in my energy levels and I faced fears and anxieties that had never been a part of my personality. I found that the thought of going out to meet groups of people created a sense of panic. What I realized was that the feeling was coming from my confusion of being with people that I had met through my former business. I still didn’t know why it was making me feel so panicked, I just knew it didn’t feel good.

Cleansing my feelings

I attended the Goddess Gathering Retreat in the summer and found another piece of the puzzle fall into place. Working through the Desire Map workbook gave me an opportunity to work through more thoughts and feelings. I also conquered more of those “limiting ideas”.

Another important part of the process came during a meeting of the Work of Heart Ideas and Coffee group. This group formed after the first Work of Heart and we meet occasionally when one of us posts that we need a get-together.  I made myself go, even though I was still feeling that panicky feeling. This time I had the chance to talk to Lenny Boudreau, who listened to me and asked me questions that made me realize that I was carrying shame and embarrassment that served no purpose. Much bigger stories had gone on in the world, and people forget the details, so I should let go of the story that I was telling myself about what “everyone was talking about”.

I spent time over the summer with a group of ladies who are so supportive and caring. They helped me to release some of the feelings I was carrying with me.

Cleansing my energy

Then came the day when I decided to move a table. It created a shift in energy that I sorely needed. I thought after that experience, everything would be better. The “cleanse” had finally ended. Nope. I was a big part of it for sure, but the Universe hadn’t finished with me yet. I realized that my anxiety about going places was my fear of seeing a person who was associated with our former business.

In September Ray and I met up with our daughter Meaghan and her boyfriend Ian for a 4-day vacation in Cape Breton. It was so lovely to be able to see them and to revisit some touristy places we hadn’t been to in years. We stayed in a lovely Airbnb right on the Mira River. It was a relaxing and soul-nourishing time.

October came with Blog Jam Atlantic. Specifically, the Sunday morning workshops with Mike Tanner and Terrence Taylor. They both challenged me, but when Terrence asked us about the stories we tell ourselves, I spoke up and shared my shame and feelings of hypocrisy. More cleansing, and more support. Thank you to Charlotte for passing me a note that reminded me that the journey is often messy.

Cleansing my thoughts

In December I went to Master Mindset. By myself, and yet not alone. I knew some of the speakers and was looking forward to hearing their stories, as well as nourishing my own journey. During the intermission, I noticed that the people sitting in the front row looked familiar. It was the person that I had feared seeing. At first, I let that bother me, and I was distracted. Then I realized that I had the power over how I felt, and I returned my attention to the speaker on the stage.

At the end of the evening Marcel took us through “the Ritual”, and when he told us to yell, boy did I ever! I yelled out my pain and frustration, shame and fear. I felt cleansed. When I was putting on my jacket, “that person” was leaving. He looked over and we made eye contact. He asked me how I was doing, and I said “great”.  Something that I had feared had happened, and I survived it. I felt truly cleansed, but it had taken a year for it to happen.


At the candlelight service on Christmas Eve, I realized that my word for 2019 would be “freedom”. I had been thinking that this year marks my turning 55 in September, and the old “Freedom 55” commercial came to mind. Freedom seems right after a year of cleansing.

I could not have made it through the challenges of 2018 without Ray’s unwavering support and love and that of my family and friends.   It is important for me to give myself time at events like Work of Heart and Master Mindset so that I can share in and learn from the stories and experiences of other people

I am under no illusions as to what living this word will mean. It’s been a rocky start to this new year, but I am rolling with it, leaning into the word and the experiences that follow. There will be more to come as I find my way through this year. I’d love for you to come along for the ride.




Author: Michelle

I have filled many roles over my life: daughter, sister, friend, wife, mother, Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do, and Grand Master Bikini Competitor. All of these life experiences have provided me with a wealth of stories to share. Words are my refuge and my strength.

5 thoughts on “A year of Cleansing”

  1. Michelle, I was re living some of my own demons and I wasn’t going to waste the valued info that was shared with me. I’m humbled it helped

  2. a great perspective,upon discovering our own once unknown power and inner strength. After all, as it so often happens, that which we fear the most, upon facing it, we find not so intimidating after all. Someone once said, ” we soon discover our true strength when we face something we once feared and discover our own fear, was in most cases, unfounded.

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