My Birthday Gift To Me

Samantha Hess

Hello All,

Thank you for being here. Today is my 33rd birthday, and this is giving me an opportunity to look back on things to figure out who I am and where I’m going in my life.

This last week has humbled me a few times, and the last few months have had some challenges that I have not yet shared with many of you. In the spirit of being true to myself I wanted to take the time today to do the last thing in the world I want to do, which is tell you about all these struggles. Vulnerability is a beast. It’s also something I always want to have in my life.

Please be warned that this part gets very personal and has some medical stuff that you may want to skip if you are someone who will be very saddened by hearing more of these struggles in my world. If you don’t want the TMI part please skip to the paragraph that starts in bold. That being said, I’m fine. No major catastrophes at hand, but more pain. About 6 months ago I started getting sporadic and very painful cramps low in my belly. They come and go usually lasting a few seconds to a few hours. This began happening often enough that I finally decided to go to the doctor maybe 2 months ago. They referred me to get an ultrasound, and it turns out I have some ovarian cysts. I then got referred to a specialist whom I finally got to see about 2 weeks ago. They replaced my IUD early as part of the treatment and they put me on birth control pills as well for the next 3 months because estrogen is supposed to help diminish these. I left the DR with a prescription for birth control and knowledge that if this doesn’t fix it I may need surgery or worst case scenario emergency surgery if one of them explodes in my body causing internal hemorrhaging that could kill me (along with the worst pain of my life). Ok. Great. Awesome. Deep breath. Ok. Putting that last part aside as much as possible I started taking the pills about 10 days ago now. The thing I forgot about birth control pills is mostly the part where my body goes through the teen girl phase of emotional roller coaster. Within 12 hours of this being in my system I began to weep for no reason a few times a day. I was irritable and miserable for no good reason.  Ok, if I’m being completely honest, I am still feeling that way. The other thing I forget is that my boobs hurt pretty much all the time. it’s starting to get better finally, but my goodness, I’m super over all of these symptoms. I wish my body would agree. On top of this, the 2nd ultrasound I had with the specialist showed more cysts than the first one, and I don’t yet have a follow up appointment scheduled, so I’m nervous about the outcome. The pain from these things feels like I’m being punched in the stomach, but for a lot more than just a moment typically. Often it’s waking me up at night and keeping me up for an hour or more. I am experiencing these attacks by my body at least a few times a day and on average they last maybe 45 minutes. Good thing I’ve got my meditation practice on point. I have yet to take any pain medication (which would be ibuprofen for me) as I’m not a fan of these. Hopefully I won’t have to resort to medication for pain. The other issue with this is that because my body is fighting this I am dealing with inflammation that is causing my chronic back pain to significantly increase. Now I’m crying for no reason and sometime because it hurts so much that tears just fall out of my eyes. Wuf. I’m not sure when this will get better, and I really hope it won’t require surgery. Right now though, I’m in the middle of having to sit with the uncertainty, the pain, and the stress of regular life on top of all these new dilemmas. For those of you who know me in person please note that this in no way means you need to change anything you do to make me comfortable. I hope all of you are well aware of me holding my boundaries and keeping myself as comfortable as possible proactively. If I need to change anything I will let you know. I am not broken. I am not fragile. If I say anything that comes across out of character, I apologize. I am doing my best to be a good person with these new struggles.

Moving on…

The other big challenge in my world is being humbled by a lot of folks in a very short time. Let me explain in a sort of convoluted way…

Recently I had a conversation where confidence and arrogance were better defined for me in the context of my world. For me, confidence is a space that is nonjudgmental and a space where someone is open to learning/growing/changing their opinion with new information. Arrogance is more the stubborn, elitist, know it all, judgemental space where someone is unwilling to consider changing their position. It has recently been brought to my attention that I have acted in an arrogant way toward other people and businesses in my industry. Instead of only working to build my own brand I have recently discovered that I do have arrogance I portray around feeling like my way is the right way for others to view what I do. This is not acceptable, and I have some apologies to make. I have been treated horribly. I have been disrespected, torn apart, and walked all over. This is no excuse to attack others or consider other perspectives to be worth less than my own though, and I do need to correct this. It’s not an easy thing being a very young leader in a very new industry working with many others who have a decade or more experience in learning humility, diplomacy, and grace. I am, however, held to the standard of the folks around me regardless of age, experience, or wisdom in any of us. This means that no matter where I am at in my life, I have no excuse to treat people poorly ever. It means that I have the accountability and responsibility to apologize when others have harmed me as well. I have the right to forgive without receiving apologies when people treat me with disrespect, and I have the honor and vulnerability to correct my mistakes.

I find it very important that my work be seen for what it is, but my mistake was in believing that how others use the name of my profession for other purposes diminishes the work I am doing. I don’t need to worry about what others are doing, except when I see people being mistreated. I will always stand up for myself. I will always stand up for what I believe is right, fair, and just. And I will always be open to considering I am wrong.

Right now I am in a place where I am realizing that the vision I had for my business needs to shift. My hope to be a leader in this industry is one that no longer helps me or others. My goal instead needs to be scaled back and focused on providing the one on one unconditional love and acceptance so my confidence stays very clear from the arrogance it has drifted to. Yes, I have done very important work and I will continue to do so. Yes, there will be leaders in this industry. No, I do not want to be one of them anymore. I want to make space in my heart for all healing modalities, and I want to avoid the pitfall of thinking that I can be defined by words when what I do is spoken only in the language of love.

Moving forward I will do my best to make amends to those I have hurt, and I will spend time reevaluating my world, my place, and my future while continuing to provide the space for healing and thriving on a one on one and community level. I will continue to offer training to others who seek to follow my path, but I no longer want to be the leader of this industry. I no longer want to be the one who says my concepts are the best way to be. Everyone deserves to honor what is true to them, and I want to honor each of us who are caring for others, regardless of how I have been hurt.

I realize this is all very vague, but that is only for respect of those I have not yet attempted amends with. I want to thank you for being here with me in my journey. I want to thank you for caring about yourself and those around you. I want to thank myself for having the courage to admit when I’m wrong and the ability to get back up no matter how many times I get knocked down. Today I celebrate myself through vulnerability and through a fresh perspective that feels a lot closer to the true me.

With love and gratitude,

Samantha Hess