“Some of us think holding on makes us strong; but sometimes it is letting go.”

~ Herman Hesse



Chapter 6 Recap:

In Chapter 6 of “Lessons from an Island Girl,” Phoenix is left bewildered by Rafiki’s unexpected shift in the conversation. As Rafiki introduces the concept of a “gift” in the breakup, Phoenix struggles to comprehend the mandrill’s unique perspective. The dialogue takes a turn toward self-awareness as Rafiki challenges Phoenix’s tendency to shoulder all the blame for the relationship’s breakdown. The discussion explores the dynamics of awareness, communication breakdowns, and the complexities of shared responsibility. Amidst the emotional whirlwind, Rafiki introduces the notion that the breakup may have been an act of love on his ex-girlfriend’s part, leaving Phoenix grappling with a tsunami of conflicting emotions and seeking guidance on the path forward.




…“I’m lost Rafiki. What am I to do?” I reply through clenched teeth, a wave of emotions coming on like a Tsunami. I can feel them, just under the surface, rising in my chest. I breathe deeply, instinctively, and yet I don’t know if I can control what wants to come out.



Run Phoenix Run


“What happened, happened. She made a decision. What comes next is acceptance. You can stay stuck or you can move on. Your decision.”


I stay quiet, silence feeling like the best choice.


Rafiki’s stops and turns. He looks me in the eye and lectures, “You need to decide in what capacity you want her in your life? Can you maintain a friendship with someone you desire to be in a relationship with? Are you okay when she moves on and starts dating someone else? Are you okay that a friendship with her means you connect occasionally and maybe not for months at a time? That’s your decision to make. She has made hers. You need to figure out what is best for you.”


I look away.


Rafiki’s gets more relentless, “Continuing to question motives, the what if’s, the shoulda, coulda, woulda, maybes, the if I only did that, will cause you to stay disconnected with your inner children. They need you right now Phoenix. You can’t take care of them if you’re constantly looking back at what you could have done differently.”


“I know. You’re right. It’s hard though.”


“Do you want to stay trapped in the pain of the past or do you want to learn from it so you can relish the love and blessings of the present?” Rafiki repeats what he first told me when I started blogging 7 years ago. It’s what he told Simba, albeit in a slightly different way.


Do you want to stay trapped in the pain of the past or do you want to learn from it so you can relish the love and blessings of the present? ~ Rafiki Share on X


I don’t answer the question. Instead, I focus on her, “I feel like she’s running.”


“Then let her run, Phoenix!” Rafiki exclaims, leaping around with a big smile on his face, strutting down the side of the mountain. “She’s already long gone. Stop going in circles chasing your own tail. Learn so you can start running too.”….



Chapter 8

“One day, in retrospect, the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful.”

~ Sigmond Freud


Good morning and Happy Valentine’s Day my Fledglings. Wishing you love and joy throughout the day and may you embrace your inner child with a celebration of self-love.


I realize the past three days I’ve been building you up to hear my love story. When I started on this journey six days ago, I had no idea this story would be a love story. How can a breakup be a love story? You will see.


When we can shed the shackles of grief and pain, there is nothing but love underneath. I realize this is just the beginning of my healing journey, and grief tends to come in waves, yet today, what I was able to create has been one of the most beautiful gifts the universe has given me.


I am spacing this out into much shorter chapters; more than I have ever done on my blog. This will be a first. We’ll see how it works. I plan to post a chapter every 3 days. Feel free to leave comments as you reflect on either the journey Phoenix has taken or anything you’d like to share on your own personal journey of healing.


My wish is that something from my journey of looking inward will help you as well.


And now, to that little Valentine’s teaser about the emotional adventure I will take you on…


Story Summary

In this captivating blog series, follow the protagonist, Phoenix, on an introspective and transformative journey guided by the insightful Rafiki. Trekking through the scenic trails of Muir Woods, Phoenix absorbs profound lessons on relationships, self-realization, and the vital role of communication. Delving into the three categories of relationships—Lifelong, Life Giving, and Purpose Filled—Phoenix, with Rafiki’s mentorship, unravels the intricate threads of past connections, especially with Island Girl, a spirited woman who left an indelible mark on his life. The narrative delves into Phoenix’s struggle to find closure after the end of his Relationship, all while respecting the importance of boundaries.


As Phoenix navigates the continuing journey, grappling with the nuances of grief and loss following a recent breakup and the departure of a close friend, Rafiki’s wise counsel encourages him to confront his emotions head-on, fostering personal growth and resilience. The story further explores Phoenix’s evolving comprehension of communication’s profound impact on friendships, underscoring the significance of openness and vulnerability. Amidst emotional upheaval, Phoenix gains valuable insights into the art of active listening, striking a delicate balance between his extroverted nature in recovery and staying authentic to himself.


The blogs culminate in a poignant moment as Phoenix lies beneath the starlit sky with Rafiki, contemplating the vast universe. This series intricately weaves a narrative of self-discovery, resilience, and the transformative power inherent in genuine connections. Through Phoenix’s journey, readers witness the unraveling of deep-seated emotions, the beauty of embracing imperfections, and the importance of facing life’s uncertainties with an open heart.



Rising from the Ashes


~ Phoenix Emery



Chapter 1







(written Nov 22, 2020)


Bzzt. Bzzt. Bzzt.


Groggily I lean over and hit snooze on my cell phone. Seriously, it can’t be 5am already. And why in the world did I set an alarm when I could sleep in?


Five minutes later. Bzzt. Bzzt. Bzzt.


My inner child starts to resent the adult who crawls out of bed to use the bathroom and brush his teeth. The kid in me starts to argue.


“Come on. Go back to bed. We’ve got two hours.” A slight pause as we look at the clock and calculate when we need to be in the lobby to catch the van to the airport. “Wait,” he whines, “we actually have three hours.” The voice in my head gets louder. “There’s NO reason to be up in the middle of the night.”


“It’s not night, it’s morning,” my adult calmly clarifies.


“It’s dark out!” my inner child screams. “Darkness means bedtime.”


“It’s our last night in Hawaii. We’re going to watch the sunrise while doing yoga by the beach.” My adult has spoken. There is no negotiation.


We spit in the sink and rinse our mouth.


My inner child will not relent. The argument increases to a full debate. “First off, there’s a mountain on the east side of the island. We won’t even get to see a sunrise.” There’s venom in his voice when I hear him emphasize the words sunrise. “Secondly, we did yoga less than ten hours ago watching the sunset. Why do we have to do both? We were up late playing Dungeons and Dragons online with our friends. It’s not like we won’t be back to Hawaii in a few days anyway.” My inner child finishes with a cantankerous wail in my head that emotionally feels like fingernails on a chalkboard. “Go back to bed!!”


The debate is one-sided. My adult holds a boundary and does not engage with my inner child as we tie our shoes. Finally, after a long pause he replies, “Trust me.”

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