Take a ride to the other side…
When I look back at my housing quest and the transformation that occurred during me facing my biggest fear, I realized that I was stuck in a proverbial tunnel for nine months. And then it occurred to me that nine months is also the amount of time it takes for a embryo to transform into a baby. So did I just give birth to myself?
The evolution of my soul compares to the embryo’s journey from egg and sperm to a human baby. I started my journey (when I lost an apartment in one of the worst housing crunches in the US), kicking and screaming. In fact, my anxiety levels were so high at the time that I was unable to go and look at, much less apply for an apartment or house share without freaking out. I also entered therapy because I suspected I suffered from PTSD after finding an article online through synchronicity on the symptoms of this common disorder.
But I don’t want to get into that part in this blog post. I want to talk about transformation and shifting energy as individuals because we are all called upon to do transformation work now. I recently read a book of essays penned by authors who found inspiration from Liz Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love (the book is called Eat, Pray, Love Made Me Do It). In this mesmerizing collection, each woman (and man) delved into a raw and vulnerable time in their life where they dug deep into their souls to pursue their true desires. This ran the gamut from getting a divorce to dealing with illness or death of a loved one. Each essay ends with a powerful revelation that we must embody courage to live authentically and truthfully.
And as the late Joseph Campbell would also inform us to answer the call to a quest, no matter how much fear that drags up in us. Don’t avoid the quest by getting drunk, or downing pills, or engaging in meaningless sex or stuffing one’s body with junk food. If you engage in escapist activities you only prolong the journey and create even more suffering for yourself.
Also don’t fool yourself into thinking this is not a shamanic journey in the sense that you’ll delve into dark places within yourself where you face down fears that have been driving you all along. I believe that the reason Liz Gilbert’s book shot up the charts and sold well internationally is because we all recognize the archetype of the hero’s journey. But we can’t live that out vicariously through authors or filmmakers. As the planet wobbles on the precipice of destruction, we can only bring wholeness by healing the darkness within or owning up to our piece of the light force.
For my own story, I had to make peace with personality types that could have buried me alive emotionally. I had to stand up for myself and set boundaries at the risk of getting kicked out on the street. I had weeks where I didn’t know where I would sleep any given night and I had weeks where I was settled in one place even though it wasn’t permanent. Along the way, I learned that I matter as much as the next person and I don’t have to play small or invisible to get my needs met. I also learned that manifestation is real and it’s true we do get what we focus upon, but maybe in a lighter shade of beige than a full-on nightmare when we focus upon our fears.
I also notice providence in the form of miracles and protection from the invisible realm. I learned to trust that inner still voice, even when I was in the throes of a full-blown panic attack. Oddly, I could stay calm on the outside when a tempest raged inward. I had to trust the kindness of strangers even though people betrayed and harmed me in the past and trust isn’t something that comes easy to me. And I battled with my faith in God, wondering why God would put me in that situation until I realized I placed myself in that situation so that I could reclaim my personal power and gain confidence as a middle age woman. That was my initiation!
Incidentally, 9 is a sacred geometric number just like 3, 6, and 12. It is a magical number and a number of completion of a cycle. For me 9 represents a cleansing of old beliefs and patterns not to mention, limited fearful thinking that only spun me around in circles. Now, I am standing in the light at the end of a dark time. I feel different, but don’t expect me to describe my feelings with words. And the one thing I did right was to nurture and nourish myself along the way through self-care. I made sure no matter what my circumstances were at the time that I ate a healthy diet and slept at least 8 hours each night. I also went to a counselor-therapist once a week.
If you find yourself at a time of loss and grief think of this as a time out or the beginning of an inward journey in which you find your authentic self. Yes, we can swap stories about the economy ripping our lives out from underneath our feet or about the deaths to loved ones, or a loss of identity after a divorce. But don’t spend too much time crying on the bathroom or kitchen floor. If you skip to the ending of a hero’s journey you’ll realize that the hero always returns with the boon. As each of us undergoes radical transformation, we return with wisdom and grace. We return with a powerful understanding of the ways of the Universe and our powerful role in the turning of the cosmos.