2018 was a potent year for inner reflection and opportunities to raise our awareness, move our blocks, own our mistakes and decide what to do with the lessons. Here are the biggest lessons I learned over this past year. I'm curious what you learned and would like to share too!
Labels - Labels are something I don't really use nor think about anymore except for when they were used to define me by other people. How do you describe yourself as you are still learning to discover who you are and what you have to offer others? I've been told to listen to others describe you and allow them to do that for you but this caused triggers for me because so many of the words used were associated with 'evil' or 'demonic' influence when I was growing up and I began to feel defensive wanting to proclaim how much closer I feel to God, the divine, my Higher Self and all than ever before; how important prayer is in any ritual or practice I'm using from herbalism, intention setting or working with tools.
Witch, Shaman, Alchemist, Medicine Woman, Spiritual Advisor, Moon Goddess, Lover, Artist, Writer, Model, Mother - I had to accept that these words are simply words used to understand the archetype the person sees in me and is actually a clue as to the type of medicine that person needs and where their gifts may have been lying dormant and are ready to begin to awaken. I'm a Pisces Rising which means one of my natural abilities is to morph into whatever a person or situation calls for and this year has taught me how to use that as a tool for the greater good without getting lost in someone else's archetypal definition of me. I am all of these things. I am also fluid and in constant evolution simultaneously embodying all and none of the definitions people need to try to understand me. It's a gift and an honor to witness who someone else is by what filter they choose to see me through. It also makes it easier to accept, teach, connect and love these people exactly the way they need it.
Unconditional Love - Unconditional love was something I thought I was beginning to understand and then I was faced with things from my past I thought I had reconciled to challenge where I thought I had grown and to push me closer to understanding and accepting what unconditional love is. I was shown where my old ego still clung to fear and pain and once I allowed myself to feel the pain I had pushed down for so many years, for the sake of survival being at the forefront of my mind back then. This year is closing with me accepting that I have a love in me that will never die, no matter how much it hurts when it resurfaces. I am compassionately accepting that the pain is only because the story didn't end and begin the way I had wanted - but that was my ego and if it was for the greatest good than it would have worked out that way. I added the most important missing piece to the book I'm writing and I allow myself to feel everything as it pours out of me. As I accepted this and allowed myself to express it, my heart burst open, any remaining walls around it fell, and it felt as though it continued to bleed on the floor around me. It no longer had a hold over me though and my tears weren't made of blood; I was in love and that was ok. Love doesn't begin or end, it just is and the more we try to control it or harness it the more damage we do to ourselves and others because that isn't love at all, it's fear.
Generations - The other major take-away I have from 2018 is that we focus too much on generations assuming that every person from a certain generation is a certain way. We use the lens of fear to judge people that see the world and approach problems differently than we do when we should actually be interested in another way, to be open to having a healthy dialogue and work together towards solutions. Most humans want the same things but our collective dream has us all easily triggered and overly defensive instead of open to hearing another story, another reality, another way. When I treat generations the same but individuals as uniquely as they actually are, we connect deeply and we find much more things in common than differences. When we blame generations that follow us we only have ourselves to blame because we were responsible for offering those people a safe and loving environment to grow up in. When we blame generations before us we close ourselves off to hearing about the lessons and the wisdom those mistakes offered them. When we blame our own generation we blame ourselves. When we blame we remain victims, throwing our hands into the air, giving our power away to anything or anyone instead of taking responsibility and having the courage to learn from our own mistakes.
I make resolutions and set intentions daily and throughout each day. The ending of a year offers us the opportunity to measure our personal (and professional) growth at a macro level, just as reaching a long-term goal measures our personal (or professional) success. We have this opportunity on more micro levels with each passing day, week and month too. Keep a journal if your personal development is important to you so that you can truly see how far you've come at the end of the year. What intentions do you want to set for the year? What lessons from 2018 can you take into 2019 and build upon? Allow your inner work to be forgiving and fluid but also find a way for you that helps you measure your progress so you don't get discouraged during those really trying periods that life inevitably throws at us.
Sending you all my love and blessings for a prosperous New Year filled with more opportunities to have the courage to live life in a loving and compassionate way towards yourself and others. Together we can begin to change the collective dream.
"The cure for the pain is in the pain." ~Rumi
How can I attract emotionally available people if I don't first learn how to be emotionally available for myself? This question has nagged at me for days after a friend / therapist / psychic prompted this question in me. I exhaust so much energy trying to understand the 'why' of something I don't allow myself the space to feel something, no matter how old or painful. I know I do this and have worked hard at it but sometimes something old that I once thought was resolved creeps back in to my subconscious and I get all frustrated and judgey of myself, reprimanding myself for 'not being over it already'.
It's easy to not feel safe in our emotions. Sometimes it feels as though our emotions have the better of us whether it's sadness, anger or even joy - because constant joy can be a sign of an imbalance or be used as an avoidance tactic as much as constant anger can. There was a time when understanding offered a sense of safety for me. Understanding something (or someone) on a deeper level helped me make important and compassionate decisions remaining an observer of my experience. However, this mentality, this belief of the value of remaining detached to a specific outcome, remaining an observer, almost got to the point (and probably more often than I realize) of disassociation. Logic allowed me the space to forgive, to let go of pain, to survive. Logic made me a warrior and a victor. Somehow I got lost in logic, almost as though I believed that my emotions would make me a victim again, so I would stuff them down or judge them in fear of wallowing. Wallowing makes me frustrated and angry so if I found myself moving into wallowing I would call myself out on it. After knowing abuse, it's not uncommon to fall into unhealthy, even self-abusive patterns you've adopted from others.
The thing is though, some emotions return because we haven't given them enough space to be processed. Certainly we can be swallowed by imbalanced emotions and getting professional help in balancing our minds and bodies is critical but we also need to give ourselves permission to feel. Stifling our own emotions only causes them to become imbalanced and subsequently "rule our lives" later on, forcing us to address them anyway. It's easier to do it in the moment but sometimes we don't have (or make) time. Sometimes it isn't safe yet...
Now I reflect on the people I was drawn to when I didn't feel safe. I was drawn to people who were familiar even though familiar doesn't necessarily mean 'safe' but those people who remain a sort of constant offer a sense of stability, of safeness so we cling to them when everything feels like it's spinning. Why though would I cling to people that are always the same if I am intent on evolving? Why would I cling to people who were once drawn to me because of the chaos that was my life, because we resonated with one another at the time but as I strive to transmute everything I can they remain in old chaos... Chaos has its place, it's important for new beginnings but I'm talking about constantly digging and clawing their way into looking for reasons to be a victim, to complain, to pretend they have no power, no divinity. These people are emotionally unavailable for themselves and now they can no longer be emotionally available for me.
I feel great empathy for people in pain, who struggle, who are trapped in their own shame, patterns, etc. This is why I have had so many people like this around me. My reflex, my ego's reflex, is to help but after a year, or two or three go by and the cycles remain the same I have to look at my own unhealthy patterns or trying to rescue people who don't actually want help (and no one really needs rescuing), they want to complain, they want to stay addicted and trapped in their own drama, their stories, always looking for new ways to justify their chosen path of self-torment. People who want help ask for it and take what is offered and run with it, you can see them evolve, learn, grow and even begin to do their own alchemical process, whether they realize it or not.
Last night I dreamt I intentionally consumed parasites with the goal that I could purge things I needed to let go of physically and all it did was make me sick with the parasites AND what I was wanting to eliminate. If that isn't telling of my past patterns demanding to be recognized now I don't know what is. I don't NEED anyone else to help me purge my past, not anymore. I have grown into having the resources within that I need and I have a solid support system of people who do not become overly attached to me or their own dramas. I have people who refuse to become enmeshed in the past but instead fight to learn and grow, seeing pain as an opportunity to see what it can become with some TLC. If I am to truly become emotionally available for myself I need to not get distracted by the "woe is me" stories that come at me from those who seem to almost beg the universe for the next opportunity to reach out with another story of woe. I need to end my pattern of falling in love with potential regardless of whether it's a friendship or romantic encounter or the potential of a relationship of any kind. That isn't remaining present which is one of the keys to emotional availability. The most important thing I realized *for me* is that safeness includes emotional availability. Healthy vulnerability creates beautiful bonds and opportunities for growth. Healthy vulnerability allows... free of control, judgments, attachments, agendas. Healthy vulnerability holds space for the uncomfortableness to move and evolve into whatever it's meant to. If one or both parties doesn't feel comfortable being open and vulnerable in a healthy and productive way, free of criticism or judgment from one's self or another how can that truly be a safe relationship?
I found this excellent article that explains how to spot emotional unavailability early as well as to check in with yourself to make sure you aren't also the one that's emotionally unavailable: 10 TIPS TO SPOT EMOTIONAL UNAVAILABILITY
For nearly eight years I have done everything I could think of to release someone I loved deeply; someone who had helped me find myself again and let go of a dangerous relationship pattern. The caveat was that I created another unhealthy relationship pattern with this man to get out of the dangerous one. I learned, and continue to learn that "better" isn't always right... or best for that matter. There was an intoxicating pull between us, strong enough to be a factor in his relocation.
After confessing and repenting my sins to church elders I begun my healing journey and began my YouTube channel documenting my awareness and recovery around Love Addiction. I studied Psychology focusing on Somatics and Trauma as I became a Body and Energy Worker. My spirituality grew and this one thing continued to haunt me. Just when I thought I was free of it dreams would remind me I was not free. I had created an archetype of what I believed love should be and feel around this person. I faced that and worked at creating a new archetype but the dreams still haunted me.
Then I discovered the idea of Soul Ties. I prayed as I performed a ritual around unbinding my soul from this person after first acknowledging the sinful, toxic way we came together (regardless of how much it helped me). This helped but the dreams started returning. I burned Mugwort essential oil with a candle last night before bed and after vivid dreams I woke up completely clear. I realized that the reason my unconscious and/or subconscious clung to this person, this idea that solidified him as an archetype for me was because of my own shame I refused to acknowledge. The more I think about it, the more I can see how pride blinded me from seeing my own shame. I did what I believed needed to be done and refused to feel shame in order to do it. After it was over pride kept me avoiding and/or denying that shame was an important piece I would need to reconcile. I had convinced myself on some level that if our love worked out, if we ended up together (regardless of how much my conscious mind knew we were all wrong for each other), it would make my choices "ok". It would fix any damage I had done by my actions, regardless of how necessary they seemed at a time when I was out of options (that I could see anyway). It's embarrassing how obvious it is to me now but it's not uncommon to push down unpleasant feelings, especially when life is testing you in so many other ways you just don't have time to do the work until it gets to the point that it refuses to be ignored.
Healing the spirit is vital in any healing process. I had healed my psyche, I continue to work on healing my body but have released these traumas and experiences from my body and heart but my spirit needed healing too. Working with essential oils, creating custom blends for myself and others brings me so much joy. It connects nature to our spirit, offering a potent, concentrated piece of nature in healing our spirit and even our bodies. It's important to remember though, that first, something must be acknowledged. A wrong we have done, a wrong that has been done to us and most importantly, our shame, our self-judgement, our self-abuse, our self-loathing, our choice to remain a victim, succumbing to something that has ended. You have a choice to do the work. The moment you begin the work you are a Warrior, fighting to move from victim to victor.
"...the book was most helpful in approaching death because it describes in detail the deepening mental states through which the dying person passes and how to prepare for them... we pass through these states each and every day when we go to sleep or end a dream, as well as fainting, sneezing or orgasm." ~ Forward in 'Advice on Dying' by the Dalai Lama
I have spent the last few months making time to masterdate. You read that right. Earlier this month I took a weekend off of work to take myself on the perfect dates in honor of my favorite holiday, Dia de los Muertos. I grew up without holidays so I have no sentimental affinity for any holiday except this one because when I was experiencing the death and grieving process of the end of my marriage a beautiful Mexican friend introduced me to The Day of the Dead as it was her favorite holiday. Simply recalling the introduction to something I never knew before gives me chills. This resonated so deeply and I had yet to understand why. I didn't want to disrespect a tradition native to someone else's culture and not my own so I took my time getting to know it and understand it. There is a deep reverence and sacredness to this time period and I wanted to honor it with the respect it deserved. For now, I will explain what it has come to mean for me and my views of sex.
In years past, when experiencing heavy grief or numbing from trauma I would turn to sex in order to feel something again. Desire came from a space of lack. In grieving sex offered not only an escape but also a palpability to the pain of my experience. When numb it was the only thing that felt safe to feel. These experiences offered a sanctuary from my own emotions, my heart, my mind and my spirit. I couldn't process life when I felt as though all I knew was death, death of my self, my ideas, my dreams, even my realities. I remained in the darkness but the darkness wasn't scary when I had sex. I will expand on this more in the future...
Now here I am, years later, giggling with myself for calling my self care escapades "masterdating" (a Facebook friend deserves credit for that word) and feeling comfortable with feelings of discomfort. I have known various forms of death and as I rebuild my life on my own I find contentment in aloneness. There is a surrender required to truly heal and grow beyond your stories. So now I can be fascinated with the state of dying because I am not currently in that state (any more than any living creature anyway) but having known the closeness of it, having become intimate with it the fascination returns when I awake from a dream, when I catch myself falling into meditation or experiencing Yoga Nidra while riding the bus to work, but most of all I still experience that state in sex but much more so. When you release fear of death it becomes easier to drop into these states.
When you are not a victim to your own drama anymore your choices become much more conscious as do the people you choose to surround yourself with; the more intimate the relationship the more particular you become. This is because you are acutely aware of your own sacredness. You don't forget your humanness and you are by no means close to perfect but life is manageable. When a majority of people you see struggle to manage their life and their own feelings as they are easily swayed by anything that triggers them (other people, social media, politics, etc.) you must fall in love with aloneness for your own sanity.
This brings me back to sex. Now I can see so clearly when desire comes from a space of lack and not just sexual desire but any desire; decisions and choices are made from fear because the focus is on what one does not want and when I look into someone's eyes I can see it, it looks almost crazed to me and it's familiar because I know that space all too well. You see more of what you fear, more of what's "wrong" and less of what is a blessing, what has deeper purpose. When I am familiar with that empty feeling and can compare it to the feeling I have now after working so hard on myself so that I can be of service to others, those feelings I have of fulfillment and of gratitude, then how could I possibly invite that old fear into my space on any level, especially a sexual one?
It's easier to have a stronger internal boundary when you have been blessed to know men on an intimate level that set the standard, they are the standard as opposed to men you find yourself assessing to see if they meet "a" standard. If you have to think about it then they don't measure up; either they are the standard or they aren't and I for one, deserve no less. This is the man that joins with you from a space of equality eager to share a spiritual awakening through orgasm with you. He doesn't come to take from you something he is lacking within himself, instead he knows that the experience will challenge you both to go deeper within yourselves as well as one another and he has the courage to allow the experience to unfold as it's meant to. Fear is overcome with courage as you explore the states of consciousness that join death and orgasm. Old patterns of needing to attach meaning to this shared experience can be tempting but then you remind yourself that you are both safe and allowed to explore different realms of consciousness together because that shared moment is why you are together. It teaches you to remain more present and to give up the need to control anything by defining it because you know that will limit this one thing that is meant to help you both transcend those old limiting beliefs; those old unhealthy patterns.
These connections are what I wait for now. This has been a new layer of learning for my body who is used to getting what it wants when it wants. Now my mind, heart, spirit and body are beginning to have a mutual understanding and appreciation for what the sacredness of sex has the potential of being. Once you have this kind of shared experience with someone, just the presence of the other person has a profound effect on you, it can be unsettling but infinitely worth it. This is how a sexual experience can trigger the death of something you no longer need to hold on to in the healthiest of ways. Some deaths are welcomed.
Micah's confessions and lessons that have helped with self-forgiveness, healing and acceptance.