Ah, on the topic of being. This theme is something that has come in perfect timing and it’s almost as if life set itself up today- just so that I would end up writing this. Intuition has led me here, to share this with you. It has felt so good to enter into November, after a very full month in October. There is something interesting that happened where October ended up being so full, it was almost as if subconsciously I was setting myself up to learn the lessons that I am sitting with now. Processing. And the best part is that despite me feeling not totally ready to share or go through this (and right now it feels like i’m pulling words out of my mind’s prison) with you, something deep inside me is saying that it’s time.
A lot has been happening for me over the past year. Last night, when I was getting ready for bed and secretly watching episodes of Sons of Anarchy (a guilty pleasure that I truly get no pleasure from), I realised that 1 year ago I was in a completely different place. 1 year ago today, I was living at my friends’ home in Kitsilano (while she was away in Asia), I was feeling disconnected from my husband (because he was living in Seattle and traveling a lot), I felt very much at the beginning stages of a lot of my business, and I was feeling stuck in the throws of some major family conflict. Oh, and financially I was feeling pretty contracted and in fear. That was 1 year ago! It’s actually kind of hard to believe. That is the thing about these minds of ours- sometimes they are missing that little thing we like to call perspective. They get stuck in the minute details of the day-to-day grind and forget about the big picture. The blown out version of what is really going on right now. Within one year, we can create a lot. Within one year, we can expand dramatically. Within one year, we can learn SO much about ourselves. Essentially, every single moment and person is an interactive teacher in some way- whether passive or direct.
What were you doing exactly 1 year ago? What did your life (and internal self) look like?
I just checked my email and 1 year ago I was coordinating with Jordan Younger on a podcast project and had just finished doing my Restaurant Story at Virtuous Pie. Also, on this very day I was at Chau Veggie Express doing my first Restaurant Story there. That is the professional level of what was going on. On the emotional level- I can feel that things were a little bit different. I was feeling slightly out of balance, missing Faris and unsure of what was to come. That is the interesting thing about who we are, and where we are at. And most important, the way that we evaluate how we are. Is it based on how our life looks on the outside? Is it based on what we are doing and who we know? How do you evaluate the value of your life, on a day to day basis?
Before I go any further, I will also mention quickly, the uncanny synergies that come about every year. It is basically almost exactly a year ago since I did a restaurant story at Chau Veggie and now I am doing an Instagram lunch date giveaway with them in 1 week (you can still enter here, if you like). Also, today I just listened to Jordan Younger’s podcast episode with Jessica Olie (whom I know from Dubai) and this has been the first podcast episode of Jordan’s that I’ve listened to (and it’s also her episode 61 and I am about to release episode 61- hellllo). It’s just interesting, isn’t it! The synergies that exist around us, showing us patterns to enhance our awareness. Why do patterns show up? In my space, I feel as though various patterns show up to bring our awareness to the moment. To realise that there is fact something much greater going on here, and that we also are not in control in the way that we like to think we are. There is something much more powerful at play here. Conducting the energies of the universe and bringing flow, where flow must go. And in the same way, bringing misalignment where flow must not go.
And these synergies are showing up for me, to see where alignment lies. Last month, despite the signs, I decided to really step out of alignment. Just as the momentum of my spiritual practices had been building, I decided to take a side street to my saboteur and really step into doing instead of being. I remember when I was speaking to my mentor at the end of September and filling her in on the details of my October. A horse facilitation retreat, a writing retreat trip in California, my intuition retreat and The Witchery dinner. The funny thing is that in hindsight I can see that these 4 items of the month could’ve easily been expanded through 1 year. Easily. And yet, somehow, they were packed into 1 month and somewhere within my mind I liked the idea of it. It sounded fun, challenging and rewarding. As if the idea of getting through it made me feel really good about myself. Uh oh, hello double edged sword. Enter an old conditioning about getting things / shit done and feeling powerful as a result. Growing up, I used to pride myself on being able to do a lot of things and really show off my incredible drive. I used to be rewarded for this- my Dad and family found it incredibly entertaining (in a inspirational-pride kind of way) and it made me feel less unstable about the things that were going on in my life. It was as if, if I could prove that I was able to get through these big challenges, all the while surviving other struggles and conflict in my life- then I would know that I was ok. I felt a sense of power and ‘control’.
Does this ring any bells to you?
A bit of a mind play on the truth. As if we are actually trying to trick ourselves. Well, here’s the thing- when our minds’ try to play tricks, our bodies and intuition tend to make moves to re-correct this misalignment- immediately or over time; that is their job. Here’s another interesting thing about this pattern/strategy- our mind believes that in order to get through this ‘challenge’- we have to be mean and critical on ourselves. It’s the only way through, right? Wrong. And yet, it’s a societal norm. To be really hard on ourselves, especially when we’re experiencing challenge. As if that is the only way we will get through it alive. Our innate fight or flight system is activated and in this space- there is the belief that love does not exist. Love is too soft and nurturing. We need to make ourselves feel homeless, struggling and desperate for survival. We will do anything to get through- starve, sleepless nights, too much caffeine, drama, negativity- whatever it is. Now, this strategy can have various extremes. It used to be a LOT worse for me. As we step into more alignment and learn to witness that voice and notice these patterns and strategies, we are able to gradually rewire them and introduce new ways through. This doesn’t happen over time though. And sometimes, old patterns can be re-triggered if a similar situation/story shows up. The old muscle is reawakened. This is where going slow and having our practices is SO important, because if we are going slow then the likelihood of us noticing when we take a step into contrast and our saboteur, we can acknowledge it. We can see the limited beliefs and the lies. We can feel it. And then take the necessary steps to realign. To stop. Slow down. Breath. Step away.
So, contrast. When we are living in contrast (and we’ve brought our saboteur along), it’s basically like living in a tiny apartment with the NY Times worst critic. Or like, the meanest and rudest comedian out there. A person who is fueled by your downs and gets power from seeing you suffer. There is something about the way that we live through contrast and how we are able to express it and be in it while it is happening. I suppose it comes down to archetypes- whether we are living in contrast as a victim or a warrior. But there is this whole thing where sometimes you don’t know you are going through contrast, until you’ve been through it. Sometimes, your mind is so convinced that the contrast is happening to you rather than with you- and as a result you are blinded in one eye. You can’t see the signs clearly; you aren’t receiving the messages accurately. Perhaps a fixation is created around protection, tricking you into believing that you are being authentic and vulnerable when you are actually holding on very tight to control and somewhere along the way, telling a lie. Maybe you’re even living a lie. There can be a lot going on there, and it has to start with stopping. Literally, stopping in your tracks. Stepping off the train and taking a moment to ask yourself the truth. How do I really feel right now? What stories have been on replay? What stories have I been telling myself and others? And…. what is the actual truth to me?
As I was stepping into October I didn’t recognise contrast. It was in disguise. And it was showing up to reveal a familiar pattern in a new outfit. Around shining and stepping into the light. Around shadow and the archetype of fame. Around self-care and the duality of being a teacher. And it hit me hard. The moment I arrived home from our retreat I was exhausted and I got really sick. Like, super sick. I was knocked out. And in that silence and space I was able to witness that voice who had managed to gain a bit too much access into authority over who I am. And now, a week later- I feel deep gratitude for being sick. Because it was in the exhaustion that I was able to access a place of being quiet and hearing the truth. And grabbing that flash light one more time to explore the shadow caves.
Enter the imposter complex
I was having a conversation today about ‘spiritual burn-out’ and what really goes on. Essentially, October created a spiritual burn out for me. First off, I will admit that there is some fear about what happens when I, as a spiritual mentor/teacher, shares these things. That make me human but also show that I too go through contrast. That mean room mate of mine speaks up and says, “if you share this stuff, you won’t get any new clients. They’ll all see that you are actually weak and a fraud.” Ah, the imposter complex. There it is. Another lovely side of that mean and annoying room mate. That voice that tells us that at some point people will see us for who we are and all of our ‘faking’ will come out. “Who are you to do this?” The Imposter Syndrome. Yup, it’s an actual syndrome- a collective of symptoms that are shared in a large group (I’d say more like the whole world). Another strategy of ours that is activated to keep us small. A fear of our own power. When we really step into stretching ourselves- this complex comes in with a whole lot of strength. The truth is, sharing what happens in my life and being open about it on this platform is actually a part of who I am as a healer and a teacher. It is a part of my medicine. And I would say that one of the most important parts of any journey- is about learning what makes you who you are and identifying the vibrations of your light (and darkness). We all carry a different medicine and it is so important for you to know WHO YOU ARE and what makes you tick. The comparison muscle is so strong and is always waiting for a fun work-out. When you have a stronger foundation in who you are and what you require in practice to stay fueled, nourished and ‘balanced’- then you are less likely to be swayed by the alluring attraction of comparison and competition.
So what is spiritual burn-out?
If you think that you can avoid burn-out, just because you talk about truth and love, you are seriously wrong. A lot of the time, we come to the world of spirituality and healing to heal ourselves and somewhere along the way we convince ourselves that it is only for others. That we are in fact healed and we don’t need the work. And in that space, the potential for burn-out grows… because the desire to help others is fueled by our distracted need to help ourselves. Somewhere deep within that desire is a younger version of us who really needs some support. And on the surface, that person is working hard to convince yourself otherwise. Why? Because every time you help someone, that wound within feels a little bit less painful. No matter who you are, you are never going to stop going through contrast. Whether you are living in a cave or out there in the world preaching your teachings- you are still going to experience contrast. Contrast is one of the purposes of why we are here. Without contrast, there is no life. Contrast shows us what life is, contrast teaches us who we are. Just think about it, we are brought here equipped with a mind, a body and a soul. No matter how hard we try, we all exist with all of the these things that I am discussing- a saboteur, an imposter complex.. it’s all in there. To teach us who we are. To see that we are all the same.
And right now- it is all coming out onto the surface on a societal level. And the need to take care of ourselves each on an individual level is becoming even more important than ever.
When I am in a group of humans now a days, I feel a shift in how I interact with the energies and how I show up. For a lot of my life I felt very keen to participate, speak and take part in all elements of the group. There was deep desire to be seen and heard. To be popular. Now, I have an awareness that deep within my psyche lies a similar desire. We all do. When a group of people get together- if there is an element of fear underlying the space there will no doubt be some form of competitive, comparison and insecurity festering beneath the surface. I think that is actually one of my biggest learnings from the past few months is that I MUST trust my intuition around what events and groups to be a part of, and what not to. We do not (and should not) be everywhere, all of the time. We are not meant to help every single person and we not meant to resonate with every human on this planet. Sure, there are some people that do manage to do this (think: Oprah, Dalai Lama)- and truly, there is some intense fame shit going on there. To be taken to that level of fame and to also survive it (and thrive). Being known comes with a LOT of attachments, it is not a free role filled with only bliss and happiness. There is a certain energy that you must be able to hold and also manage in fame. And I think it requires knowing yourself on a level that extends beyond the lies of the saboteur.
And I think the point I am getting to is about knowing what makes you feel good and what does not. And exercising this (intuitive) muscle regularly so that you can ultimately know these things before you enter them. Basically, becoming a faster energy reader. To understand the signs, signals and messages that are sent to you to keep you on the path. And that’s not to say that missing the signs will send you into a life of doom- but instead, you might experience slightly more resistance or challenge, than if you stayed on track. And sometimes, this resistance is exactly what you are meant to experience. Like October for me. Thank goodness for October. I am now sitting in a whole different space energetically and enjoying the impact of hermit-ting.
So doing versus being- what is going on here? Can you be and still do? Can you do and still be?
It feels like there is a balance to this duality, in the same way that there is a balance between creating and acting. As Mother Nature shows it, life lives in duality and there is an ebb and flow to all energy. We are also an ebb and flow. As we continue to hear, winter is all about going inwards. Slowing down, getting quiet, sleeping more, moving less, doing less. In the entrepreneur world of doing, what does this mean? Can we continue to create in a way of being when we feel called to be? Can we always just be?
When I think about October- what I see is that the truth is doing in that month was the perfect situation for me. It was created by me, for me. And if I didn’t experience the intensity of doing, perhaps I wouldn’t so connected to being right now. And have a more clear understanding of the underlying conditionings of doing. The thing is, I also realise that there will come a time where I feel called to “do” again, and the shift is in knowing that while doing I also must be. And the second that I let my ‘being’ practices slip, I will know that I have allowed the conditionings behind ‘doing’ to take over and in that action, stepped out of my alignment.
Does this resonate? Where are you right now- in a state of doing or being? Which do you feel that you desire right now? Are you feeling tired of doing? Are you almost wishing that you could get the next ‘event’ over, so that you can go back to being? Well, I will share- that if that is the case, then you might want to take a STOP right now- and be, even for just a day… so that you can reconnect to the idea of being in every moment. There is a possibility that somewhere within that space, is an area that is more about doing than being. And in that, there is a learning. Again, this is all about getting to know who you are, truly- (aka the truth of who you are) and what makes you tick. What do you desire?
So, go be…. and I will too!