Friday, February 21, 2020

It's time to get REAL

And it's time to let go of an old friend named Fear

Sometimes you gotta just do it. That's how I'm feeling at the moment. Have you ever felt this burning need to do something, anything, and didn't know where to start? Or maybe you aren't sure exactly where you're going because you lack clarity? Sometimes you gotta just take that first step. And then take the first step again. That's what I feel like I'm doing right now as I sit down to write for a blog I don't really have. Ok, so I do have a blog. One I started so long ago it's growing mold and I even un-linked it from my website because it felt like it was only spreading mold to the rest of my web presence (But not anymore! It's back!!!). As a business owner, I've often felt some kind of pressure that I should be doing all the things that are "proven" to make you successful out on the web (and hopefully in your business). You gotta be on social media, maintain a blog, offer online programs, etc, etc. And you know what? None of that is easy to do when you're so gripped by fear that you can't even sit down to write a few sentences for your own benefit, much less the benefit of others.

Last night I had a bit of a break-down and break-though, as my recent ex would have put it. Sometimes we sludge along in our lives feeling like we're moving forward but not exactly at the pace we'd like, and then BOOM something knocks us over and we're so dizzy we are forced to re-organize our internal resources in order to get back up and keep taking more steps forward.

I think this often comes with a feeling of being catapulted forward into the abyss. And it's no accident either, because were we really going to
just take a flying leap into the abyss without being pushed? That's how the universe works, in my experience. It gives me that shove when I
need it most. A dear friend of mine calls this "being hit over the head with the cosmic two-by-four" and I think that pretty much sums it up. That's how it felt when Lisa invited me to take over her business, and how I've often felt at certain moments in the last few years when I've received these messages that felt like, "DUH, can't you see where you're headed!?!?"

The truth is, I haven't always been able to see where I'm headed. Creating a vision is a tricky thing for many of us. Within the first year of my Reiki practice, I started to experience flashes of clear vision that I'd be practicing professionally, and it scared the hell out of me. Yep. It sure did. It took me 5 years of practice, working on myself and getting to know Reiki, before getting hit over the head by the cosmic two-by-four. "Ok, so this IS where I'm going, but now what?" was the next huge hurdle. I didn't know what it looked like beyond that initial vision. It was easy to just sludge along, not putting all my intention into what I was creating since I didn't entirely know what I was creating. And knowing is huge. Knowing isn't just having a thought or idea. Knowing, the way I'm using it here, is about that deep feeling all the way down to your core when you just KNOW. That's a feeling that I was largely cut off from for most, if not all, of my adult life. The ability to tune into my intuition, thankfully, is a wonderful fruit of my practice. Reiki can help us learn how to re-connect with everything that is in a way that can be used for guidance in our lives. I'm not talking about angels and guides here, but if that's how you experience it, that's wonderful! For me, it's just an experience of tapping into a deeper intelligence that is available to us in any moment. 

But tapping into that deeper level of knowing AND all the power that comes with it isn't always a straightforward process. Most of us have no end of ways that our egos can get in the way, calling up past pain and traumas, and clinging to fear which seems to have no end. And YES, I'm totally speaking from experience here. But I think for anyone who has made big changes in their life, there comes a time when the cost of fear is just too great. If fear is keeping you from moving towards your true calling, then the pain of denying your true self eventually becomes greater than the fear. And when the pain is greater than the fear, do you sit in the pain, or do you do something about it? Is the desire for relief strong enough to take action? Or, in my case, does the universe provide you with a little shove to catapult you into the abyss?

I recently was provided with an opportunity to get really crystal clear about what I want to create in my life, thanks to that relationship that catapulted me forward, and although my initial deep dive didn't go very deep into the specifics of my business, I was inspired to do so this week after visiting a business networking group and realizing I needed to get clear about my priorities. I took the time to do some brainstorming yesterday and went on a journey of visioning and goal-setting, which landed me in a place of feeling excited but also overwhelmed at everything on my lists. How can I possibly achieve all this? So I started examining how I spend my time and how I can be more effective with the few hours I have available in the day. I started to see all the ways that I waste time, and all the habits I have that get in the way of accomplishing things to move me forward towards my goals. What an eye-opener! Especially when I could see clearly that many of the ways in which I waste time really amount to what, in mindfulness practice, we call aversion. Aversion is the tendency of our minds to push away from, or avoid, things that are uncomfortable or painful. And in a flash of insight, I realized that the avoidance of taking action on things to move me forward really amounted to a huge amount of fear that was still gripping me. Like many insights, it feels so plain to see once it is seen. So obvious. Yet until we make that moment of discovery, our vision remains cloudy.

As I sat with the fear last night, I felt some of its origins: the past pains and traumas that taught me to limit who I am, the places I've habitually constricted the full flow of energy into my life. And as I felt the emotions swirl around and begin to release, something unexpected happened, I actually felt grief. It's interesting how we keep friends like fear so close to us that letting go of them actually feels like a loss. But it was time to let go. The grief wasn't really about letting go of fear itself, but about the identification I had with that fear. The ways that fear was so intertwined in my experience, that I didn't even recognize it. The identity that I created that was rooted in fear isn't me. It hasn't been me for a long time, really. So letting go of fear was also about letting go of the person I was in order to fully be the person I am becoming. The cost was just too great not to. 

I've been practicing Reiki for 10 years now. 10 years! It's hard to believe how many changes I've gone through, and at times when I discover big opportunities for growth, it's easy to judge myself for not making these shifts sooner. At times like this, it's helpful to recognize those thoughts as judgments, and to re-connect with my self-compassion practice. That might be a simple as placing a hand on my heart and breathing consciously for a few minutes. Then I remember how strong my heart is, and yet how tender. These days, that little reminder is usually enough to help me re-set and come back to that place of deep connectedness that re-balances and heals.

So, it feels a little like I've let go of something that was getting in the way of doing more writing- the fear of rejection. Ultimately, this cripples most of us (hmm... perhaps a topic for a future post?). But part of cultivating self-compassion is about realizing our common humanity. I know I'm not the only one that has experienced the things I've described here- just take a stroll through the web and see how many bloggers out there are talking about overcoming fear! But my experience is also my own, and worth sharing. My intention, moving forward, is to write from the heart, and from my own direct experience, to talk about the things that are real in our lives. Not from a egoic place of having it all figured out, but from a place of experiential wisdom that continues to evolve as I move forward on my path. I feel like that's as real as I can be with you. And isn't it refreshing to drop the pretenses and just get real? Honestly it feels like a huge relief to me. So I hope you'll join me on this journey to authenticity, and if this resonates with you, please comment below and/or share this post. I look forward to the creation that lies ahead. Let's get out of our shells and MOVE!

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