There’s something about walking on the same piece of earth that you’ve walked on your entire existence. There’s something about rocking in a chair that your great grandma held your Dad in as an infant. There’s something about returning to a sacred place of your lineage that echoes in the soul.
My family has a cottage in northern Michigan or “Up North” as Michiganders say. For those of you not in the Midwest or U.S., a Michigander is someone who was born and raised in the state of Michigan. And yes, it’s Michi - GAN - der with that hard nasal A!
This cottage has been in my family for generations. Stories are soaked into the wooden logs. My grandma breathes into the cards as we play cribbage on my great grandma’s cribbage board. I swim amidst the ashes of my grandma and drink out of my grandpa’s mug. I still trip on the same root I’ve been tripping on for 30 years.
There is something to behold when you glance in the kitchen and see her standing there making her molasses cookies. There is something to behold when those who have passed still grab a cold one and sit by you on the dock. There is something to behold about being in a place of my ancestors.
Up North is a place of my bloodline and it always calls me to the truth. Anything I’ve been avoiding, it’s there. Anything I’m deciding, the answers are revealed. Things I didn’t know I didn’t know, arrive to me.
This place knows me and it’s impossible to lie to it. Even if I try, I have a sea of Schroeder’s standing there beside me pointing at the elephants in the room of my heart.
Up North is a special place and has always been a harkening back to me. It’s been a connection and return to my ancestors, my lineage and those that walked before me. Sacred is the best word to describe it.
On my most recent trip there, for the first time, I not only experienced a glance back, I saw a vision forward.
I sat with my brother in law and we watched my niece and my sister on the dock from afar. We talked about how powerful this place is for our family. I shared how wild it was to see my sister and niece on the same dock my sister and I played on together our whole childhood. It was truly a full circle moment and realization.
My identity shifted in an instant. I’m not just someone who is honoring and carrying the baton forward for those that went before me. One day, I’ll hand that baton on to those who continue after me.
I am a bridge.
So many people in personal development, coaching and yogic spaces talk about the “why”. “Know your why”. Staying tapped into the deeper why behind any venture is crucial to success, growth, fulfillment and happiness.
Suffice it to say, my why expanded exponentially in an instant. An extraordinary instant next to my brother in law staring out at my sister and niece. I was no longer just a baton carrier. I became a bridge.
What does that even mean? Who I am as a bridge can no better be articulated than through two letters. One to those that came before me and one to those that will continue and come after me.
For my bloodline, two letters.
Thank you for the path you laid for me to begin walking when I arrived here. Thank you for all of your work, your experiences, your love and your mistakes too.
I know my Mom’s generation were the first women with bank accounts and money in their name - thank you to all of the women that came before me who struggled with equity and somehow still held their own.
Thank you to the entrepreneurs who gave me the entrepreneurial spirit, one I really am just beginning to understand. Thank you to the musicians who gave us music. Thank you to the farmers who gave us connection to the earth, the value of a hard day’s work and a deep knowing of animals.
Thank you for traditions, cards and the cookie recipes passed down by word of mouth. Thank you for the deep instillment of being good humans. Thank you for making helping others part of who we are.
I promise to take what you laid out for me and make good use of it. I will run with my rights as a woman and do the things you weren’t able to do. I will build a life and a business and use my voice to create change.
I won’t take for granted these opportunities that I know you all did not have. I will keep the values you instilled in us to carry on our legacy.
From the tales of your lives, I will also shed patterns that do not serve the highest good. I will heal wounds as not to pass them on in our bloodline.
I will make good use of the path you’ve laid out for me. I will stay tapped in. I will love, I will learn and I will grow from where you left off.
I will make a long bridge and be proud of what I’m able to pass forward.
Dear Next Generation,
One day I’ll say, “Here is the baton, here is the end of my bridge, it’s time for you to make yours.”
I promise to make this a long bridge full of positive change. I promise to create a bridge between our ancestors and you that has been expanded, clarified and blasted with joy.
I will live a life that shows you what’s possible. I promise to be an example of positivity, what happens when a better world is pursued relentlessly and what it feels like to live a life based in love.
I will keep the long standing traditions of our bloodline on my bridge to pass along and I will create new ones too. I will create traditions of prosperity and fulfillment and dreams that can become reality. I’ll release what is not helpful to continue to carry.
In living as a bridge, I will strive for excellence. When I inevitably face plant, I will seek to embody grace as I experience the full spectrum of being human. I will do this for me and for you.
I promise to make good use of what our ancestors handed to me so I can hand you something even better. I will innovate in my unique way to add to our story and lay a foundation for yours to go higher, wider and deeper than mine in your own special way.
I will do my very best and will constantly stay tapped in to the fact that one day my bridge will be complete. This will help me make it awesome for you to take and run with!
I will make a long sturdy bridge and will be proud of what I pass along to you.
In these letters, I make a decision and commitment. A commitment of my life and my identity as a bridge. A commitment of joy and playing full out! A commitment and devotion that will always keep me rooted in this deeper why.
I am a bridge.
I am a bridge.
I am a bridge.
If you could write a letter to those who went before you and those who will live after, what would it say?
What do you have in your life because of those who went before you? And what do you want to be able to pass on?
Is there a place in your life that helps you tap into your highest truth and lineage? Either your bloodline or chosen family?
Living a heart centered life as a yoga teacher, coach and musician calls me to these perspectives and allows me to fully live and create a life I love. If you’d like to access these parts of yourself to fully live the life you’ve got, here are the ways you or your child can work with me:
Mindful Music: I let kids be who they are, reach their potential, share their unique gifts and heal the world through holistic mindfulness-based piano lessons. Starting July 15th, I will no longer be accepting new students. Reach out to me here to book now!
Yoga Classes: I teach virtual yoga and am teaching in person private/semi private to those who are local in Chicago. Purchase my latest virtual class here and reach out to me here to book in person yoga!
Conscious Creation Coaching: Through 1:1 coaching, I help people access their power so that they can fully live their dream. I do so through my signature framework, Divine Design. If you’re interested in coaching, reach out to me here and let’s talk about it!
I am a bridge.
What are you?
Every day, in every way, you have the opportunity to fully live the life you’ve got.
With your entire bloodline behind you and ahead of you too.
In love, lineage and purpose beyond ourselves,