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Operating from Expansion

Updated: Nov 2, 2021

Listen when you ask for clarity, you will get just that and more.


The clarity I am speaking about refers to all aspects of my life whether that be social life dealing with friends, my own outlook on romantic relationships, or school/work life. This year has brought me more discernment and vision on what matters to me and what I am no longer willing to tolerate. This is not a full reflection of 2020 yet, but to speak about clarity, discernment, and expansion, I had to review a glimpse of what 2020 offered me as I wrote this entry.


Let’s first talk about how this year is truly preparing me for the life I want for myself. Do you have moments where you are researching a potential opportunity, writing down a goal, or simply doing a hobby, and you know deep down in your heart and soul that this is what you were put on this earth to do? One of those moments for me was looking up MA/MS in Mental Health/Wellness Counseling graduate programs. Chile, I am in no rush to go back to school but I wanted to remind myself of the opportunities that are out there waiting for me to pursue. Also, I am indulging in this period of resting as a recent grad! Anyways, I couldn’t ignore what I was feeling when looking at the Mental Health/Wellness Counseling graduate programs, it was an immediate yes for me! This decision to pursue this degree feels so right but more importantly this type of work is absolutely aligned with what I came here to do. I immediately saw how I would be able to translate this degree into my line of work, offering mental health counseling at NYC schools from elementary to college, providing more healing circles + counseling for the Haitian diaspora, facilitating trauma informed workshops for students, and facilitating more healthy conversations with adults on how we can show up for ourselves as we heal. In addition to what I have done in the communities I collaborated with this past year, the possibilities are endless in how I choose to show up for community care + work. I mean with a concentration like “Self-Care, Mindfulness, and Ancestral Healing for Haiti’s future” it makes sense for me to pursue this opportunity in addition to my other interests.


Another moment where I felt this tap on the shoulder that basically said, you know this is what you need to be doing was about two years ago at a friend’s birthday get together where she invited some of our elementary/middle school friends. We were chilling on the rooftop on a December night (giving very slightly brick weather!) and we were talking about our interests and what we’ve been up to as far as college. I (highkey) get anxious during these “let’s catch up” conversations. My immediate reaction is to keep it short, stay low, and sometimes purposely play small. I acted like this because I didn’t want to come off too smart, all figured out, or like my elementary/middle school self which I describe a little at the end of this paragraph. I am still working on not playing small and that’s okay! For more context, I think when I’m around people that I grew up with such as elementary/middle school and even high school, my younger self makes herself present within me through my sudden shyness, extra pensiveness/daydreaming, replaying all my awkward moments which leads me to feeling like my younger self all over again when in reality I have grown so much. I think I can go deeper than saying “my younger self” by naming “my younger self’s subconscious” as what really shows up in those moments where I lack presence of my current self. I say this because how I felt inside manifested differently in my actions towards myself and others, for example, unnecessary competitiveness, aggression, proving that I’m a catch just based on my grades which came off as know-it-all behavior, and lack of emotional awareness of my feelings and other people’s feelings.


Now that I read my younger self, let’s continue with the moment that brought more awareness to my mental health/wellness calling. To be honest I am not sure if my concentration was what it is now at the time of the get together but one of the guys said I should be a therapist and I was just intrigued because besides us knowing each other from the ages of around 6 to 12 years old, I wondered how he was able to come up with that suggestion (if that makes sense)? He said something along the lines of I give good advice. Correct me if I am wrong if you ever happen to remember that conversation and are reading this. That was really an affirming moment, thank you!


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As a person who always gravitated to a multidisciplinary major and now career, I do not want to be known by my job title or one “specific career path”. I am here for the work, not the titles. The healing work I’ll keep doing will forever be interdisciplinary and multifaceted so why would I allow myself to settle in one profession (since I have been granted the access, privilege, and opportunities to make this a reality for myself). I have to remind myself that I have no one to impress anymore, not even myself, my work ethic speaks for me and my presence introduces me before I open my mouth. Part of my daily work (whether that's online or offline) is to release my false narratives + expectations to make room for self-assurance.


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Letting go in real time was putting a pause on my law school journey and it felt devastating because I was operating from how others and myself always saw me academically and not driven by clear purpose (from my perspective and this is an example that I am my own Critic CEO). The goal I had for myself coming into 2020 was going to law school straight through but when you’re forcing something that is not meant for you or not on time, you feel out of alignment. This is where discernment came into play for me, I was able to ask myself was it me giving up because things got hard or was it me rushing into something that my heart was not totally invested in yet. Of course I could have gone straight through and all to law school and rely on my work ethic to get me through but if my heart wasn’t there, my vision wasn’t either. You get me? Once I paused my law school application, my true reasons for going to law school were unfolding and if it’s meant to be in the next “x” amount of years, trust and believe, I’ll be there with more experience, wisdom, and confidence than I have right now.


When I continued to ask God for clarity and discernment, he gave me multiple lessons that I experienced to see better. Regardless of the lows I have experienced since March, I am trying my best to always be in the attitude of gratitude because that’s where true expansion comes from.

Of course I am not in the place I pictured myself to be post-grad but I am processing that I am exactly where I need to be to step into the life I want for myself. I am thinking about the many breakdowns and breakthroughs I’ve experienced since March which have allowed me to recognize and begin to release childhood trauma. This on-going healing has made room for me to name and claim the possibilities the woman I am now can receive and embrace. It’s like I needed to revisit my younger self in my childhood home and understand why it is imperative for me to pursue what I feel is best for me. That looks like believing in my adult self and knowing that I know what is best for me. I know what I no longer tolerate. I become clear on my boundaries and move accordingly. I know I want a different life than what I have known all my life and it’s okay for me to want that for myself. I know this journey will feel lonely at times. I know that letting go and releasing people and things that don’t speak to who I am now is absolutely okay and it’s truly all love. I know I should never fold on myself, my faith in God, and the journey to wherever life leads me.


Take Care,

Linda Duverné



Journal prompts:

  • What feelings arise when you know you are aligned with your purpose?

  • What do you have to release to make room for the life you want?

  • What does operating from expansion feel like for you?

  • What are you looking forward to stepping into next?




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