“All form must end, departing through a portal into the darkness, so that new forms may emerge from the crucible of clear space. But what is emerging in the womb of Now is not knowable ahead of time, and is not subject to our hopes, fears, or fantasies of control. While the mind will struggle with the wrathful nature of this truth, the heart knows… the body knows.
See that the death of form is filled with erupting particles of life, with magic, and with the fragrance of the holy. You can relax into the very center of the death-rebirth journey, and rest inside the core of the contradiction. Here, the chaos and the glory are one.
There is nothing more alive than that.
There is nothing more sacred than that.
There is nothing safer than that.”
Matt Licata, The Path is Everywhere
Six years ago I stood at a major crossroads. I had spent the preceding nine months letting go of every aspect of my identity, ending my long term relationship, losing my career, leaving my home in Seattle, and exploring a whole new way of life immersed in the jungle of Costa Rica and backpacking the world.
Travel was meant to be a brief vacation from reality before I began a new chapter as an interior designer in New York City, beginning with attending one of the top graduate schools in the country. That trajectory made absolute sense to me. Everyone who knew me told me I belonged in New York. I was a gifted designer, I had a flair for style, and I was highly ambitious. New York promised a kind of glamorous excitement that I thought might fulfill me.
But after experiencing a completely new form of existence, where I swam in the Caribbean ocean all day and danced with butterflies and met eccentric strangers and carried all of my possessions on my back, my heart didn’t actually want the path of the fancy New York City designer anymore. Which was very confusing for my mind to grasp.
Despite how much sense it made to me and everyone else, living in a city and attending graduate school didn’t feel right deep inside. What felt right was nature, adventure, and a willingness to lose absolutely everything for the sake of greater possibility.
Standing at that crossroads, without a clear vision of how I was going to financially support myself, where I was going to live, and what would become of my future, I eventually chose Costa Rica. In other words, I chose my heart over my mind. I chose the completely irrational path of love. And that choice rebirthed me into a whole new human I never could have imagined myself to be. I looked differently, acted differently, and most of all I felt differently.
Costa Rica began that journey for me, but that’s not where my journey ends. Like the cycle of life the journey continues on and on and on, always asking me to be true to the feeling of love that wants to break me open more than ever before.
I have come to understand that the path of my personal destiny asks me to face the wildly terrifying and ultimately liberating space of the unknown, over and over again, to free myself of all of the reasons that tell me who I am supposed to be and how I’m supposed to live, so that I completely surrender to the magnificent guidance of my irrationally wise heart. My path requires me to let go and be reborn over and over again.
That is precisely where I find myself now. Writing to you from Guatemala in my little wooden bungalow overlooking the majestic Lake Atitlan, all of my belongings condensed into a backpack, nothing tethering me anywhere, and ready to begin again. After much back and forth I’ve finally released myself from Costa Rica, I’ve stripped away nearly everything I had come to call my own, and today I am officially bringing an end to This American Girl.
Over two years ago I stood at this same threshold, on this same lake, in this same bungalow, looking out at this same view. Through a long digital detox and some very deep shadow work, I realized that I didn’t want the dream life I had created for myself anymore. I could offer you a million stories and reasons for why this feeling rose up inside of me, my spirit gasping for air in seemingly endless open water, but as I’ve come to understand, the reasons don’t actually matter.
Any dream can become a nightmare if it’s rooted in a place of “should” instead of a place of “love.” The mind can rarely make sense of this distinction but the heart always, always, knows.
It’s taken me a long time to finally cross over to the other side, keeping myself in a sort of purgatory meanwhile. But this too has been perfect. I simply could not rush this ending, even though many times I tried. All things die in their own time, and the beauty of that unfolding depends solely on how much you’re allowing or interfering with the natural process while holding yourself in a container of unconditional love.
I interfered with the process A LOT. Understandably so. Allowing didn’t feel safe to me. Just like once upon a time I didn’t know anyone who was willing to leave the comfort zone of a stable career and an obvious path in the Western world, this time I didn’t know anyone who was willing to completely let go of a highly “successful” dream life that so many others envied and desired. Once again I had no clear vision of where that path might take me, and the unknown was too scary to enter.
But these past few months I have chosen to completely surrender to the void and it has allowed me to finally move through the dark death process. I’ve genuinely faced my deepest fears that have plagued me for this entire lifetime and beyond, which has put everything into grand perspective. Words simply cannot describe the beauty of feeling myself emerging into fresh life after a very long stint in hell.
Allowing myself to actually dwell in those terrifyingly shadowy spaces and no longer use travel, work, relationships, and a whole mountain of spiritual tools I’ve collected over the years to fix the ache of dissatisfaction inside, but to simply be with that darkness without knowing when or if it would ever end, was a profoundly transformative process.
It takes a lot of bravery to feel the depths of despair that have been avoided for so long and to not have the answers. That is an adventure of courage, rebellion, and inner revolution reserved for every-one brave enough to pioneer the way for a new humanity.
Through my absolute willingness to be with my darkest fears, to walk side by side with death, and to no longer know the answers for months on end, I finally received an opportunity to authentically choose whether I wanted to live or die. After many weeks of genuinely thinking that I was moving towards death, one night I woke up and with my whole entire heart I not only chose life, I fought like hell for it. I met my demons face to face in this physical reality and I did everything to free myself from their grasp. In the end I won, and was rewarded with the incredible blessing of new life.
This experience taught me that surrendering to the void is a necessary initiation we all must pass through when life calls us to die to who we were and enter the dark waters of the womb to be born again into the light. Sounds so frightening to most, but journeying into the unknown is indeed the ultimate experience we are all really after. It is the experience of being totally alive. Which is the only true purpose in the beginning, middle, or end after all.
Needing to know the answers, needing to know the outcomes, projecting that someone else has it figured out, all comes from the fear of being in the unknown. And yet, the unknown is actually the only space where authenticity can be birthed from.
It’s through this deep receptivity that light can actually dawn. Which is why so many people in the world find themselves stuck in a dull, mediocre, conditioned state of purgatory. That is what most people know. To break out of it means stepping into a completely unfamiliar territory, which feels akin to dying. Being alive means the zombie within us first has to die.
I can genuinely say that the incredible aliveness I feel in this moment has arisen through my willingness to let go of everything I thought I knew and choose to embrace the unknown. To relax out of the millions of conditioned ideas in my mind and to start trusting my intuition. To stop pretending that I know the way, and to slow down enough to let life show me the way. I started This American Girl as an experiment in discovering my life’s purpose. Ironically and also perfectly, my life’s purpose only became clear when I finally allowed myself to let her go.
The beauty and clarity and freedom I feel writing to you in this moment is unlike anything I’ve ever felt before. Beyond the joy that opened when I first went to Costa Rica. Beyond the possibility that awakened when I first went backpacking. Beyond the excitement of birthing and nurturing and achieving huge success with This American Girl. Beyond even the magic of falling in love. Beyond any adventure I have ever taken before. Because finally, I am living my true purpose.
Life purpose has so little to do with the popularity of your brand or the number of people you’re serving or how fully you believe you’re offering your gifts to the world. Life purpose is actually, so simply, the experiential journey of being alive.
Life purpose reveals itself naturally when you show up with absolute commitment to every single moment, no matter what that moment brings, allowing it to flow in the most mind blowing way possible.
With that level of devotion there’s nothing to free yourself from, there’s only everything to welcome back in. From that space of wholeness you naturally embody the self worthiness that chooses what feels most authentically true to your Self. Whether that’s traveling the world or going home, ending a relationship or being willing to be completely hurt, what you do doesn’t actually matter. Focusing on what you do is actually missing the point.
Growth comes not when you necessarily go somewhere new or create something different, but when whatever you do is inspired by a desire to honestly open the heart rather than keep it closed.
Sometimes that opening requires a firm NO, other times an ecstatic YES, all that is required is whole hearted self honesty and responsibility. This is authenticity and it is as vulnerable as it gets. Choosing the heart is rarely easy but it is always worth it.
With this motivation driving me I continue the next stage of my journey. No longer running away, simply coming home to the truth of the free, wild, magical, sensual, empowered, compassionate, fierce force of love I’ve always been. No longer diminishing myself to fit into any kind of box or to have all of the answers, rather holding all of who I am closer than ever before, so I can share authentic beauty from that level of self acceptance and divine love.
If your soul aligns with these words, I invite you to continue the journey with me. Over the coming months I’ll be taking the time I need to rebirth myself into an even more vulnerably authentic loving expression here to serve this world. My heart is guiding me deeper and deeper into feminine embodiment with full integrity through women’s gatherings, retreats, and workshops, and I will share these dreams I’m secretly holding onto as soon as they are ready to be released. I am patiently excited for what is to come.
Please know that this is not just the end, this is a whole new beginning of something exquisitely beautiful and more bounteous than I can imagine. I’m so blessed for the mystery and fully trust that I will be more available to love, support, and assist others than ever before. This American Girl may be coming to a close, but I am always here.
You can stay connected with me by adding me on instagram @camillewillemain, following me on facebook Camille Willemain, and joining my new email list here. I genuinely love hearing from you, speaking with you, and knowing you.
As a special thank you, I’m offering my premier online transformation course The Freedom Tribe for 50% off until September 1st (use offer code THANKYOU). This is the last chance to join The Freedom Tribe, so if you have been wanting to dive deeply into this life changing work, now is the time. It’s an excellent way to take the inspiration you’ve gained through my blog to a whole other level. Since I’m wrapping up This American Girl and all offerings connected with that brand, there will be no live component with The Freedom Tribe anymore, however you can join our private Facebook group to connect with other tribe members and watch the many past Facebook LIVE calls recorded in the group. Remember to sign up before September 1st, after that I’m bringing The Freedom Tribe to an end to create space for fresh offerings.
If you are ready to part ways, I offer my most sincere gratitude for your presence these past weeks, months, or even years. You’ve meant a lot to me and I fully receive all of the blessings we’ve been here to exchange. I wish you exactly what your soul most craves, wherever that takes you. May you be guided like never before.
Infinite gratitude and deepest respect to my fiercely honest teacher Gaia Ma for initiating me into my shadows and to my wise loving coach, guide, and mentor Dan Regan for so patiently walking beside me through the darkness, for showing me that death is safe, and for ensuring me that I would eventually find the light.
Special thanks to my TRE therapist Natascha Fischer and compassionate energy healer Yvette Doudle for your deeply embodied guidance through this murky terrain. You are angels on my path.
Finally, thank you and I love you to the one who believed in greater possibility, who took a leap to Costa Rica, who handed herself over to the vast unknown, who created This American Girl, and who now trusts me to let go. So much more to come my love, so much more to come.
And so it ends.
And so it begins.
Photos by my talented and magical sister @rody_kutza