I’m always amazed at how the Universe sends her little messages of Love.

Truth be told, I haven’t been listening. Life has been pretty chaotic this year – and chaos is a word I try and avoid most of the time and use only when necessary. It’s not a word that makes me feel good on the inside, and not a word that I like to default to, but I feel that with all that has shown up on my doorstep this year, it’s a suitable word to use…for now.

I had a sweet visit with the praying mantis this morning, who showed up in my bedroom, on my dresser, quiet and still as can be. This is coming off the heels of having a brief conversation with my beloved this morning about how I needed to get back to sitting, to meditating, which in the last few months have been next to nil. Intuitively, I’ve known that I’ve been disconnected. There has been too much going on, too much squeezed into what feels like blurry days just whizzing by.

When a praying mantis shows up in our lives, it’s time to slow down and take inventory. The mantis comes to us when we need peace, quiet and calm in our lives. Usually the mantis makes an appearance when we’ve flooded our lives with so much business, activity, or chaos that we can no longer hear the still small voice within us because of the external noise we’ve created.

After observing this creature for any length of time you can see why the symbolism of the praying mantis represents stillness and patience. The mantis takes her time, and lives her life at her own silent pace.

This year has flown by. The year started out with a personal relationship discovery that made me feel as if the rug has been pulled out from underneath me. That took a few months of recalibration…honing in on deep trust and love which only solidified my marriage with my beloved. Shortly after that, we got the green light to begin construction on our home up in the canyon which left us living in a pile of dirt and “chaos” for nearly 6 months. Our home life felt uprooted, and chaotic (there’s that word again). Nearly a week after we broke ground, we received news that we were expecting…this is three hours AFTER we received news that our beloved ridgeback, Jaxxon was diagnosed with cancer. The next morning came the biggest shocker of them all, my husband has a heart attack.

When it rains, it pours.

I’m not really quite sure how our little family managed to come out of everything so well. In the same breath, we started aligning our daily way of life to facilitate my husband’s recovery (and he recovered quickly with flying colors) and dove into the pain of caring for a sick pup; the weekly chemo sessions, the decline of his health, the incontinence, the pain of watching a loved member of your family struggle with his life. The icing on the cake though, was the horrible, all day morning sickness that came with being newly pregnant.

Our boy Jaxxon passed away peacefully towards the end of August. We couldn’t have hoped for a better transition for him. He left his body at home, in his bed, exactly where he wanted to be. We are grateful.

The renovation project on our home finally neared completion on October 1st, the same day my in-laws arrived into town. We just sent them off yesterday. It seems we had romanticized in our minds and in our hearts what this trip would be like for them…but life has other plans. Reality is, age and physical decline doesn’t escape all. Travel was tough on them and they were sick the moment they arrived with my beloved mother in law getting full blown shingles the last few days of their stay. We managed to still surprise them with a trip to Maui for their surprise 50th anniversary, but had to scale back much of the planned activities and experiences we had conjured up in our minds.

Today is the first day I am back to being alone. No construction workers outside my bedroom door, no house guests, only a much needed visit and reminder from the praying mantis.

I haven’t been able breathe. Spiritually in sense, and sadly, physically. Being pregnant, and now moving into our third trimester has brought along with it physical discomforts, with a big one being the decline in my ability to breathe well. With all my organs getting pushed up on the inside (the afterglow of a healthy, growing, expanding uterus), breathing has been a struggle.

And for me, not breathing well means stillness eludes me.

Sleep has been elusive, and my body aches everywhere. Yet still, with all of pregnancy’s discomforts, I don’t wish any of the days away. The little baby growing inside, moving, swirling, kicking is amazing, and while I’m not one of those pregnant goddesses that love being pregnant (it’s hard work growing a human!), I am grateful to be gifted this experience along with the privilege of ascension to motherhood.

Now that all the chaos is dwindling, it’s time to finally focus on this beautiful time in our lives and this amazing little wonder growing inside of me as we ease into our last stretch home…the last trimester…before we birth ourselves as new parents, and embark on the exciting next chapter.

Thank you for the drop-in, mantis. Your timing is impeccable, and I am listening.