Part I of V – See related stories

C’est la vie qui nous mène, on ne mène pas la vie. — Life leads us, we do not lead life.

Grandmama Estelle

“C’est la vie qui nous mène, on ne mène pas la vie. — Life leads us, we do not lead life,” my grandmother confided in me about twenty some years ago. She was a wise one, and her absence enhances the life she lived so elegantly. I was sitting at the edge of her dusty-rose floral print sofa, trying to grasp her words and her scent all at once. The yearly conversational topic had once again returned, and before this statement, she had asked me about my future. Dancing was in my heart, but confusion had formulated a quick answer I believed to be somewhat more conservative and pleasing to her ears. She probably heard the fumbling of the words breaking away from my thoughts as if they were sifting through the mental walls that kept them prisoners: DANCE – School – journalist – MOM – job – LOVE – Writing – I – don’t – know!

“Life carries us. We don’t carry life,” was unconsciously revised and translated into English (my second language), and this is the version I still pass on to others in honor of her legacy.

Today I realize that these words were always floating about, whispering to the core of my being, digging their roots deep within my existence. Had my soul grasped the wisdom of her words at the moment of impact, I most likely would have struggled to find the gates belonging to them. My youth was uncomfortably leaning toward shifty walls, and I was banging my fist against them. I was a young mother in the midst of a quiet rebellion fearing the possibility of a grim future — one that lacked artifice. My youthful external nature was all fireworks. It was energetic and sometimes quite disruptive. With these words, my grandmother had unknowingly crafted a spell that would somehow change the fabric of my life. Undoubtedly, other words like soft and safe would also lose their meaning. Things were already uncomfortable enough. Two lives were paradoxically at odds; The “Olympian” vs. the “Homemaker.” To achieve a different sort of balance would be the height of my achievements, and an impossible rhythm to maintain over time. Inadvertently, this was the work. I had to discover new ways to bend my life, new ways to maintain a flexible outlook on life, which in turn invited strength. To this day I constantly shift between the two protagonists and I know I have reached alignment in the process. Once I understood how to act in harmony with life’s natural forces, a whole new world opened up to me. Those who know me know I have actualized all of my childhood dreams. I have metaphorically danced on all edges of the world. I have raised four beautiful children and married a wonderful man. The old question “What is next?” has found a resting place. The unknown is ever present, and the most existential question has risen.

The measure of your life is not in duration, it is in donation.

Dr Wayne Dyer

My universal question has now become; “How may I serve?”

FLOW is the keyword. The seed to begin the work.

Words are powerful. I will anchor my writing on these four essential words. They will begin the work to invite FLOW.



The valley spirit, undying
Is called the Mystic Female
The gateway of the Mystic Female
Is called the root of Heaven and Earth
It flows continuously, barely perceptible
When utilized, it is never exhausted


Give well,

Natasha Jean-Bart

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