Coming to Consciousness

consciousness

I am a page and a half into the introduction of The Handmaid’s Tale and already I am so inspired that I had to put it down to write.

First I can already tell I like Margaret Atwood the author. I do not have an answer for why, it is just a very strong feeling of  Yes. She feels honest. There is something about the way she is writing even just the introduction, she feels like someone who has to write. I identify with that. Some people choose it and work at it and become good. Some are just naturally gifted and they can choose to use that gift or not. Others do it because they have to, much like cave men banging rocks for fire, they would not survive without it. It is not about being good or gifted, it is just about the sheer need to get that fire started by any means necessary. I feel her urgency and I know that feeling.

On the first page of the introduction she talks about when she was born and then when she came to consciousness, two separate dates. You hear people talk about awakening to their life; some call that adulthood, for some it is spiritual, others their might be a right of passage involved. Whatever consciousness means to you really. For me it was 2011.

I remember my very first spark. I was sitting across a room from a man who told me that in everything that happens in our lives there is only one common denominator and that is you. You are the connecting thread between everything that will ever happen to you, good or bad, which means that no one ever leaves this life with clean hands.

I would say my true awakening came some years later, maybe closer to 2015, but it would have never happened without that spark.

There are a lot of wonderful and unfortunate truths about experiencing your awakening.

One is that you don’t get to go back after. For better or for worse once you cross that threshold that is where you are. Like Neo and the choice between the red and blue pill, once the red pill is chosen that is it.

Another is the level of clarity you experience in terms of yourself and others. You are suddenly given special glasses that allow you to see beneath the surface. You can see shadows where others (as well as yourself) try desperately to project only light. You are able to see truths that are completely hidden to others. It is like emotional x-ray vision.

Another wonderful unfortunate truth is that with great power comes great responsibility, this translates into LOTS AND LOTS OF WORK. You no longer get to be a inactive bystander in your life, you have to take action and the work is never done. It is the truest labor of love there is though which makes the heaviest days feel worth it. Mud suddenly is every bit as beautiful as crystal clear water, and everything you thought you valued shifts right along with that truth.

I am excited to read this book. I am excited for the messages it holds for me. I am excited to see how her consciousness shows up in the story she tells. I am open to receive all inspiration that I am quite certain is on the horizon.

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From Little to Big Steps

Something came up while at dinner our first night of vacation. I was telling my in-laws about my new job and why I chose this particular position and why I think it also chose me.

In short, growth. I don’t have to tell them all about how I have spent the year working on my relationship with my own sense of victim mentality and how this position is the exact thing I have been called to do at this very moment in my life because of the unique opportunity it presents me to explode from the grip of victimhood into a greatness that terrifies me! No, they don’t need to know all the details. The truth is still the truth even without the back story. And my truth is I am someone with a growth mindset who is always looking for my next big lesson and I know this is it.

I was answering all of the questions to the best of my ability, knowing full well that I accepted this position without having all of the answers. I am leaving some of this to faith, the faith I have that this is where I am meant to be right now based on how it feels. Not everyone is comfortable with this kind of fuzzy emotional logic so I explain what I can and allow them to sit with their own discomfort in the spaces where I do not have answers.

My father-in-law brought up a good point while at dinner that my husband echoed soon after. What about creating an LLC? A friend recently brought this up to me as well and I brushed it off without much thought, it seemed like more than I needed to be worrying myself with at this point. More accurately, it scared me. That feels too big and I am still little and parts of me are wanting to stay little.

It is one thing to get a work cell phone and some business cards. It is one thing to handle my own taxes and track my mileage and expenses. It is one thing to allow myself to step into a clinical position and handle a real therapeutic caseload. It is a whole other thing to come up with a real business name and create an LLC.

Somehow all the rest of it still feels like I am just playing the part of therapist while taking that step feels real. It feels grown up. It feels BIG.

I understand why it makes sense. For the same reason I will have liability insurance, but still.. It feels scary and real and bigger than I am willing to allow myself to be in this moment.

Up to this point I have just been considering something, trying something out, seeing how it fits, seeing if I can actually handle being on my own and learning what I can from the experience. Taking that step feels like I am no longer trying, or considering, or testing.. I am DOING.

I would be taking very real deliberate action towards my ultimate end goal. A step that could make this more real and potentially make things happen faster for me just by putting the mere intention of truly wanting this to work out into the universe in that way.

This week I am meeting with my mentor as well as my girlfriend who is going through the same process right now. I will speak with both of them and take their counsel on the matter.

I feel like Sebastian from Neverending Story when he was laying there under his blanket not wanting to believe that this story was about him. All that needed to happen to make it all real was for him to say the name and as scared as he was and as much as he wanted to be in denial, he had already chosen the name.

bastian

I am scared and there are very big parts of me that want to stay small and in denial that my story could be everything I want it to be. Just like Sebastian though, I already know the name of this would-be business I am afraid to commit to. I have known it for sometime. I have known it because deep down I know this is my story and I know this is where my path leads. I know my purpose, I just have to commit and create by being willing to say the name out loud.

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Starting Small with my Biggest Shadow

shadow

My personal work this year has been all about embracing my shadow parts and working towards self-compassion in my dark places. It has been about as fun as it sounds, and that is to say its been no fun. No fun at all.

This work came up organically for me after a very awkward and upsetting supervision last year. I see now how everything is connected. I needed to be doing this work at exactly this time in my life so my supervisor showed up for me in a way that opened the door. Apparently that was the soul contract she and I made.

So all year one by one my shadows have been presenting themselves to me and I have been doing the work, all the while knowing exactly what I am working towards: Victim Mentality. That is the piece of me that casts the longest shadow, it is the cloth all my other shadows are cut from.

It has only been in the last month that this shadow piece has finally hit home. I mentioned this before, there is a reason we show up as the victim in our life, it is because being on the other side of it, the place of true accountability is so painful.

The universe has sent me so much support as I walk this path though and for that I am grateful.

A few weeks ago my husband and I were discussing our upcoming trip to Michigan and it was agreed that this time we would make a road trip out of it rather than fly like we normally do when we visit that part of the country. That was my husband’s compromise because I am in no way feeling up to flying right now. I am terrified to fly and I just do not have it in me. My end of the compromise was to work on my list of fears.

It is a long list. I am afraid of a lot. So we agreed to start small. Spiders and the dark. I am making good progress with my fear of the dark. Spiders are a different story. So far I have not had the opportunity to work on it because thankfully there have been no spiders in the house for sometime. That will come when it comes.

Lastly I agreed to work on my fear related to driving. That is not a small one, that is actually one of my bigger ones. It is related to a traumatic accident I was in 20 years ago that left my face permanently disfigured. None the less, I am doing my work. I have taken three road trips in the last month where I was driving, that is pretty huge for me. The first was the longest and I had a car full of people. The second was the shortest but I was completely alone which is a major anxiety trigger for me when driving, especially if I have to go on a major highway. The last one was with one other person.

Next week my husband and I will be driving to an island off the coast of Georgia to meet his parents for a long beach weekend; he has agreed to let me drive part of the way so I can continue to do this work. Essentially I am doing exposure therapy to help myself with these aspects of my PTSD. It all ties into my stepping out of victim mentality as well. My husband did not know that I am doing work around victim mentality when we made this agreement, without realizing it he helped me ease into this work with small ways in which I can step out of the role of victim.

One of the biggest pieces of my work showed up finally this last week. It has always been there but because I have been sitting in victim mentality for so long I was not able to see it. I was in denial and blaming for a very long time, anything I could do to not have to own this very painful part of my story.

Now that I am aware of it signs and symbols have been popping up all over the place. They are all showing up to support me through this. Tomorrow my husband has agreed to go with me to a lecture being held that speaks directly to what I am working on. I think it will help give me insight as I move forward. I am looking forward to it and again very grateful for his willingness to stand by through this.