518-727-5458 joelle@joellelydon.com

Navigating relationships in a sea of change

“Leave now.”

“And what if I don’t?” I questioned.

“It’s a matter of life and death.”


This began a rollercoaster ride whose outcome blew me away.

The words hadn’t come to me so much as they’d come through me.

Before you click away thinking me fit for the loony bin, let me explain.

Each morning, I engage in a written practice that supports me in showing up genuinely, sincerely and honestly in all of my relationships. It is one I teach my clients. It supports a primary teaching in my Love by Design coaching programs: “being at cause for what you create.”

Bypassing the crazy-making of your inner critic, it helps hear the truth hidden under anxiety and fear. This is especially helpful when you’re dealing with change.

When the words “leave now” showed up on the page of my journal, I did a double take.

Was this fear speaking or was it my intuition?

Once I confirmed it was indeed my intuition, I informed my husband. I then let my brother know I would be coming and readied myself to leave the following Friday to spend the next month in France.

Not on vacay.


..But to tend to my aging mother whose mind is clear, and whose body, changed by Parkinson’s, has been collapsing around it. Also to give my father a break.

While awaiting my brother’s response I found myself both questioning the directive as well as my own sanity.

Was I making this shit up?

Over the next few days I argued and negotiated with this directive: what if I didn’t go? What if I left later? What if….?

Each time I took my questioning to the journal using a process Chinese Obaku monks have used since the 10th century to receive clarity and wisdom, the message I received was the same.

“Leave now.”

Now the relationship I’ve had with my parents has not always been a convivial one. We’ve had an ocean between us since the age of 16. It’s gone through much change.

I attributed much of my own romantic relationship failings to my perceived view of their personal and parental failings. I found them an easy place to lay my blame. In fact, I had myself so convinced that physical distance would be the thing that would guarantee a different experience for me. It wasn’t until I was once divorced and twice left that I realized neither time nor oceans were the salve.

I was.

Until I learned to forgive myself and them for our past, I would be doomed to repeat the patterns that engendered my own failed romantic relationships.

A Course in Miracles says “we are reborn every moment we do not bring the past with us.”

(That is, if we don’t bring thoughts of the past into the present.)

If we don’t allow the thoughts of the past to impinge upon the present moment, then the present is free to unfold in a different way. If we bring the past into the present, we doom the future to be just like it and then we get to self-righteously say “See, nothing is ever going to change! I’m not meant to have the love I want.”

Over the last year and a half, knowing things were going to end only one way with my parents, I doubled down on my forgiveness work. I called every Sunday just to say hello and catch up. That one touch each week didn’t only heal our past, it has healed our present and future. It has changed everything about how we are in relationship with one another.

This forgiveness work which I’ve engaged in for the last 10 years was integral to finding my Legendary Love (and now husband.)

So even as I wrestled with the notion of hopping on a plane in less than a week, my willingness to do so was strong.

As it turns out, willingness is all that’s ever required.

When my brother got back to me, he had miraculously found a home caregiver who’d begin immediately, coming for 3 hours a day to tend to my mother’s needs and cook them both a meal.

I was not needed.

But my willingness opened the door for my brother to let me know when I would be. If I’d never told him I’d be over to help for the next month, he would have never allowed himself to vulnerably ask.

My lesson? Observe the rules of improvisational theatre:

Say yes and be ready to change in a moment’s notice. It’s nothing personal. Sometimes you’re not meant to be let in on the whole plan but are meant to be open to the opportunities it presents.

The more you are willing to trust, the more you experience life and love as a miracle – which the Course would describe simply as a “shift in perception.”

Not sure how to navigate your relationships in a sea of change? No worries, I’ve got a way if you’ve got the will.

Click here to schedule your complimentary 1-1 discovery call with me. Let’s see if the relationship work that I do is a match for what you’re looking for.

Choose love, always, Gorgeous,


p.s. If this spoke to you, please forward it to three of your friends. And, if you want to receive it directly, submit the form below to become a Love by Design Insider. See you on the other side! xoxo