*This post was meant to be published this past Sunday before our dog, Tahoe, passed away. And I wondered if I should post it at all, but when I reread it, the words felt even more true to how I've been feeling. And then, this morning, I picked an oracle card from my Starseed deck, and the card was asked: What are you clinging to for fear of nothing coming to take its place? And that...well...that rooted me to the spot.
Because I DO feel fear, often. And much of the time, the fear of what could be stops me from taking steps towards things that could actually bring so much light into my world.
So, I am posting this now, feeling the words are truer than ever.
I hope you enjoy.
You ever feel like the Universe is trying to get your attention?
And because you're scared, you don't want to hear it?
Well that's been the last few months for me.
The Universe was literally pounding on my door to get me to open up and listen, and I would not hear it because I was terrified of inciting more change during what has already been an insane year.
But here's the thing, sometimes what feels like the wrong time, is actually the completely right time.
Because I had been sinking and spiraling and drowning in a sea of anxiety and depression that just seemed to be getting worse with every single day.
I would wake up in the middle of the night for hours and just wander the apartment and waiting for my heart to stop pounding. And when I finally laid back down, I would toss and turn until I fell back into a half-sleep that would last until midday. By the time I got out of bed for the second time, it would almost be late afternoon, and I would feel absolutely no desire to do anything besides sit on the couch and eat an entire box of ice pops.
It sucked, to say the least.
And all during this time, I kept hearing this teeny tiny quiet little voice inside my head saying:
"You know the way through."
And every time I would eat another gigantic bowl of cereal or purchase another cart of stuff I didn't didn't need on Amazon, that same voice would creep back in and say: "Not that way, try again."
But I didn't want to. Because I knew that the way "through," meant facing my emotions head on. It meant getting uncomfortable. And with the crap show of a year that has been 2020 still not over, I didn't want to invite in any more discomfort. I wanted to be numb.
Still...the voice persisted.
And eventually...I had to listen. The truth was, the voice was right, I did, indeed, know the way through. And the way through meant going back to the mat. Getting quiet. And focusing on my breath.
I'm currently reading a book called, Think Like a Monk by Jay Shetty. And in it, he recalls a time when he met a very young monk who had been teaching a group of even younger monks, seriously, they were like, child monks, how to breathe. And when Jay Shetty asked the young monk why he was teaching them something like how to breathe, the young monk replied, "because the only thing that stays with you from the moment you're born until the moment you die is your breath. All your friends, your family, the country you live in, all of that can change. The one thing that stays with you is your breath. When you get stressed - what changes? Your breath. When you get angry - what changes? Your breath. We experience every emotion with the change of breath. When you learn to navigate and manage your breath, you can navigate any situation in life."
I mean, kinda f*cking mind blowing, right?
And it's, like, the truest of the true things! Breath is our one major constant, isn't it? And it's a focus point that brings us back to our own truth. It can't lie. Our breath betrays our emotions. Our breath tells us where we are. And focusing on our breath can bring us back to center.
I began taking time every day to meditate. And let me tell you, at first? It sucked. It SUUUUUUCKED. My thoughts like a friggin' bull in a china shop. They were just running around, knocking shit off balance, yelling, screaming, kicking at stuff that had been all neatly tucked away on the shelves of my subconscious, and I HATED it. Really! I did! It was a struggle to get myself onto the mat every day, but I knew that once I was able to wade through all the toxicity and impatience and terror that had built up inside my mind these past months, there would be bliss and clarity on the other side.
I also refocused when it came to exercise. I didn't want exercise to be just something I did every day because it was a good thing to do for your body. I wanted my exercise to be an extension of my meditation practice. I wanted to be aware of what I was doing. I wanted to be aware of my breath. Exercise was a meditation on breath under pressure. I didn't want to just be on autopilot anymore. I wanted to be an active participant in the strengthening of my body.
About a month into this work, I began to notice that the voice inside my head was now beginning to speak a little louder, and that I was starting to hear the callings of my heart. I wanted to write again. And not just plays. I wanted to go back to writing for my blog. I wanted to return to writing about spiritual health and wellness. I wanted to crack myself open on the page and see what came out. And I wanted to share it. I wanted to build community around the things we share that we might be too scared to talk about. There was a power in facing the pain that this year had brought with it, and then speaking it out loud...or...writing it out loud, rather...is that a phrase? Whatever! It is now.
At the same time, the company I work for announced that they were releasing a new program just in time for 2021. While I was initially excited, once I heard the name, my eyes almost bugged out of my head while I thought: "you can't possibly be serious about calling it that, can you?"
The title sounded so intense, so intimidating that I didn't think anyone would ever be inclined to do it, myself included!
It was called 9 Week Control Freak. And, oddly enough, what started out with my giving the biggest eye roll of all time, turned out to be yet another knock from the Universe.
I realized this when I got to hop on a call with the program's creator, Autumn (also the name of my cat, by the way) As soon as she started talking, she mentioned how she wasn't in love with the name.
Okay...we're off to a good start...I'm listening...
"But," she said, "we also have the choice to look at something positively or negatively, and I'm choosing to reclaim this title in a positive way."
She went on to explain that this program wasn't about someone else controlling you, it was about you taking control of what you can, after what has been a year full of one uncontrollable event after another. That she had built a program full of prescribed self-care, such as nighttime stretching and breathing techniques for anxiety, as a way of having people take control of not only their physical health, but their spiritual health as well.
The more she spoke, the more I thought of the Serenity Prayer. This felt like the wellness equivalent; accepting and releasing what we cannot change, and taking active steps towards changing what we can.
These thoughts were still swirling around my head on a day when I had a pretty toxic exchange with an old friend. My heart started beating at an insane clip. My hands were clammy. I was crying. I was pacing the apartment. I felt like I couldn't breathe. Old anxieties started popping up and filling every inch of my brain. I broke out in hives. I had a moment of feeling like I wanted to die...
And then...I thought of the Serenity Prayer...
"God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."
Which is really the key to life, right? I mean, in the end, don't we sort of want to be control freaks when it comes to building a strong foundation for ourselves? Don't we want to be control freaks about who gets access to us and our energy? Our emotional space is a sacred and finite resource, and it should be treated as such. Not everyone needs or deserves access to the space that is you. And part of our work, our journey, to living an embodied and full life is building up the strength to keep us centered in moments of stress. To feel safe with our own uncomfortable feelings. To provide us with a practice to return to when times are challenging.
So, you know what? Fuck it. I want to be a Control Freak. I already do bullet journaling, have a color-coded planner, and love a fresh composition notebook, so I. AM. IN.
And guess what? I want you to be in with me.
I want to build a coven of wild, witchy, wonderful humans who are dedicated to putting themselves first. Because, could you imagine if everyone you love woke up tomorrow feeling empowered? Can you imagine how incredible that would be? Can you imagine if you woke up tomorrow feeling empowered? What would that look like?
Take a second to think about it...
Who is the most empowered version of you?
And what's more...are you ready to meet her?
If you're feeling your soul calling for more, now is the f*cking time, friend. Seriously. The world needs more warriors, so, why not say yes?
Fill out this form and let's Level Up together.
xo to infinity,
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