Great Unfolding: Part I

In less than 3 weeks, I will be packing up my life as I’ve known it for the past 30 years and head out on a year-long journey, figuratively and literally. All I know is that for the first 4 months, I will be spending time at a cute little beach cottage in Chincoteague, VA. After that, I am not sure what the next stop will be and I’m giving myself space to NOT make a decision on next steps until mid-November. I had often spoken of my desire to travel the year after all my children left home, but I had no idea what it would look like or how it would be put into action.


About a year ago, I was feeling pretty depressed, lost and unfocused. I had given up my lease on an office in McLean, VA that I loved; a romantic relationship had ended; my children and I were weary; and my business was on a downward slope. I was feeling lost and confused, professionally and personally. I was going through the motions. I was functioning, but not living. I had lost motivation and felt directionless. I was keeping my feelings at bay and not acknowledging the angst that was just below the surface.


A dear friend offered me time at her cottage in Chincoteague. “How long can you get away?” she asked. “Five days?” I responded. “Well, it’s available for 2 weeks.” she said. She did not need to ask twice - I had not been on a vacation for over 2 years and NEVER by myself. I quickly made arrangements for my solo trip to the beach for 10 days at the end of September. I started to plan with intention; to create space for myself that I had never taken before. I decided to do an Ayuervedic cleanse my first few days away so I did not need to think about what I was going to eat; I created a music playlist called “Retreat with God;” I packed painting supplies; I was envisioning a time of true rest and renewal.

I set an intention to be with myself and have very few plans laid out. I wanted this time to be open and “go with the flow.” It was going to be very different from how I had been living.

And you know what? Everything about the trip was absolutely magical and easeful! I continued to teach my classes at GWU, rode my bike, went to the beach, watched sunsets & sunrises, did arts & crafts, read books, journaled and took myself off social media. I had the time of my life!


My only change was that I decided to PLAY!!


I gave myself permission to “just be” and to be open to what the day brought. For the first time in a long time I did not have RULES for myself and I felt FREE. I had ice cream for dinner (and sometimes lunch); I bought fresh produce & fresh seafood to make myself healthy food that I liked; I got up early to watch the sunrise and other mornings I slept in; I took naps; I paid attention to what I needed and I LISTENED. I felt more joy and more connected to myself than I had in years. I felt REAL and connected - that my insides matched my outsides. Why hadn’t I done this sooner?

AND it made space for more abundance. I got 4 new clients while I was there!


Prior to my trip, a wise friend had advised me to try to think about ways I could incorporate “vacation” into my daily life. It was very sage advice - I realized how MUCH I LOVE nature and silence and how much my body, mind and soul NEED REST on a more regular basis. So when I got home, I blocked off “rest time” in the late afternoons on my calendar; I committed to taking daily walks in the woods behind my home, I rode my bike more often, I painted more and I occasionally started to take a bath in the middle of the day.


As I was raving about my time in Chincoteague to a friend, and my desire to maybe buy a home there one day, a friend mentioned, “Why don’t you think of renting before you buy so you can see if you like it there?” PURE BRILLIANCE. So as of August 29th, that is exactly what I am doing - renting a furnished place at the beach. And the cottage I am landing in is BEYOND what I ever could have imagined for myself! God is good!


Over the past few months, I have definitely questioned my sanity. “What are you doing Corinne?!! You are giving up a life you’ve known, communities and friends you’ve taken years to cultivate AND you are moving over 3 hours away from two of your children! You’re in the middle of building a business...you are CRAZY!”


Then I am reminded of how much I need to hit the PAUSE button - I think about how continuing to live a life of hustle and bustle in northern Virginia made my soul feel stifled- I needed a change. I would feel unhappy and resentful if I stayed. For years, I had been talking about a change when I hit the empty nest stage. I am not sure what lies ahead, I only know I have decided to do the next best thing and try to take things one day at a time.


Maybe you understand how I feel? Or have had similar feelings? Maybe you have felt the pull? Not to go to Chincoteague or embark on a year-long journey, but the pull of needing to do something different with your life? Maybe you are feeling like a part of you is dying or you feel disconnected or stuck in some way? Are you having issues in your relationships? I get it - I REALLY do!


“Being Real” is one of my most important values. Being Real to me is not just authenticity, but it’s living in alignment with one’s values and actions, even at the sacrifice of losing all that is comfortable. I am speaking from experience. I kept many secrets for many years. I was living in circles of toxic behaviors and relationships. In 2007, Pandora’s Box was opened and I began speaking and living my truth. I’ve lost relationships and opportunities over the years, but I would not have it any other way. My ability to be happy and content is in direct correlation to my ability to “Be Real.” Being Real is a reminder of one of the lines from one of my favorite children’s books, The Velveteen Rabbit.

“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

I have come to understand the importance of honoring and living true to who you are. I’ve also come to learn that there are many “parts” of ourselves we stifle and hide that have experienced wounding from our past. We tend to live from these parts of ourselves and they can wreak havoc in our lives and our relationships if we do not learn how to honor and integrate them. (You can read more about Parts work here)


More than anything else in my life, I have wanted to heal the family system into which I was born - it was riddled with trauma, abuse and addiction which resulted in toxic relationships and behaviors that I did not want to pass down to my children. Although far from perfect, I have created new healthy patterning in my family and close relationships and am moving forward in a life that is REAL and in alignment with my values and beliefs.


Do you or someone you know is feeling disconnected or stuck in some way? Are you having issues in your relationships? Maybe there is a history of abuse, addiction or rage in your family’s past?


I CAN HELP and I FEEL CALLED TO HELP. I want to help you break unhealthy and toxic cycles of behavior and communication. I have done it and you can too


Schedule a free 20 min call with me today, and I will give you at least one tool that can help you through a challenge you may be experiencing. Clients often comment, “time with you is like a breath of fresh air - I feel energized and my perspective has changed.”


Press the reset button and book a call with me today!

Corinne Coppola teaches women and families actionable practices that transform feelings of depletion, loneliness and anxiety to hopeful, energized and connected. By helping families slow down and learn new ways of relating to themselves and each other, Corinne helps her clients build greater resilience and wholeness to live their best life. Schedule a call to learn how she can help you.

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