Category Archives: Ego

Forging Faith

Forging Faith

Faith.

What does it mean? What does it mean to you?

I’ve been pondering this a bit recently. Through the inevitable ups and downs of life, the ebb and flow, I’ve questioned the strength of my faith, and even whether I have any at all.

The Oxford Dictionary defines faith as “complete trust or confidence in someone or something”, or “strong belief in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual conviction rather than proof”. For me personally, in this context, faith is my complete trust, confidence and conviction in my spirituality, my spiritual practices, and the spiritual teachings I follow, regardless of any proof or lack thereof.

So, the question I’ve asked myself lately is, do I possess unwavering trust and confidence in my spiritual journey?

The answer, I’m afraid, is no.

But it’s not a terrible thing, and it’s something I’m constantly strengthening with my daily devotion. Let me explain.

When things are great and I’m flying high, it’s so easy to have faith, to trust that I’m headed in the right direction, and that my spirituality is my guiding light. But on the down days, when life feels like a slog, it’s so easy to ditch that faith straight into the rubbish bin, convincing myself in my negative downward spiral of ego-identified suffering that “this sh*t doesn’t work”.

I’ve found myself there many a time. With infuriating frustration, I agonise over why it’s not working for me, why I’m failing despite my dedicated practice, that I must be defective because it’s working for everybody else. I get enmeshed and weighed down in expectations and comparison. I throw my faith out the window with the temperament of a 3 year old throwing a tantrum.

But I am determined. I claw my way back, eventually, into the upswing. And when I do, I laugh at how my descent into suffering is not only part of life for the unenlightened, but that when I’m down I rub dirt into the wound by failing to be vigilant and on guard with one key spiritual practice: mindfulness. I identify with the ego who tells me all these sickening lies, and I believe them. I might sometimes manage to observe my negative thoughts, but even when I do, I often find myself forgetting to disidentify with them, and believing them regardless.

The key here: this is a practice. I’m realising that faith isn’t something thta is necessarily unwavering, is something that I need to practice, just like my spiritual practices. It doesn’t matter, in the scheme of things, if my faith seems to waver from time to time as I descend into an ebb, because I’ve embedded my spiritual practices deeply enough into my everyday living, through devoted repetition, day after day after day, that I KNOW I will come out the other side, rising like the phoenix from the ashes. And I trust – I have faith – that with more practice, I’ll increasingly improve my ability to disidentify from my ego, and those ebbs will become less dramatic, and be fewer and further between.

But there is another aspect to this faith question that has arisen for me. The catalyst for my foray into my spiritual path was my recurrent struggle with mental health, which, amongst other drivers, was largely fuelled by a persistent yearning to find my way, to know and live my purpose for being here in this life. As such, whilst I’m coming to terms with the fact that this doesn’t necessarily look the way my ego wants it to – a concise job description that, if I follow it, will definitively bring me joy and complete fulfilment from now until my last breath – there is a part of me that has continued to seek a specific level of connection to God that will guide me on my correct path. To put it more specifically: I’ve been waiting for my intuition to kick in and ramp up, so that I can make confident choices and take actions that feel aligned with my soul. I’ve had faith that through working on my energy, through strengthening my chakras, I’ll learn to connect to that inner guidance, that indwelling divinity. I’ve had faith that I’ll become strong in my certainty that my third eye intuits with accuracy and precision, that my solar plexus communicates to me definitively. That my heart communicates with clear distinction from my head. That I can access my chakra eight and communicate with my soul with ease and clarity. Almost three years into my journey, I’ve questioned why I’m not there yet, as though the spiritual path has a final destination with a due date. I’ve had such faith that this path is THE path for me, but the test of time has strained that faith. I’ve been impatient. I’ve questioned why, after so much devotion, I’ve still felt so lost. It’s hard to keep the faith when you aren’t getting what you want in your anticipated timeframe, when you’re stuck in egoic thoughts about what should or shouldn’t be happening. But like I said before, I’m determined, and I’ve clung on to that faith.

Something about this quandary has shifted significantly for me very recently. I could attempt to attribute it to one of a number of specific things, but ultimately I think it’s a culmination of everything leading up to now – my continued devotion to my spiritual practice, some energy healing work I’ve done with a few practitioners, my readiness to begin working with intention setting, all the self help and spirituality books and podcasts I love to gorge on, the affirmations I’ve been repeating, the EFT tapping I’ve been experimenting with, divine timing, external conditions, perhaps even the full moon lunar eclipse and this lions gate thing everyone’s been banging on about! I’ve recognised that some of my negative subconscious programming has been rewritten. Areas in which I’ve previously felt so blocked have suddenly become free-flowing, unhindered, non-issues. It feels miraculous and magical. I’ve found myself doing certain things, without having given them much (if any) thought or effort. I’ve found myself unconcerned with potential challenges and stumbling blocks, inherently knowing that I’ll find any necessary solutions, but not consciously thinking through this as a strategy. I’ve then found myself, at random times (like when I’m on the toilet!!!) instantly coming up with solutions to challenges that I didn’t even realise I was attempting to solve. I’ve found myself taking constructive actions almost impulsively, which previously would have taken much self-coercion and motivation mustering. Things that previously I allowed fear to hold me back from, now I’m boldly marching towards with conviction and FAITH that it’s the right direction to move in, and that even if I fail, it’s all part of the journey.

What I’m coming to realise is that surrender is a big part of faith, that letting go and allowing the natural intelligence of the universe to flow unhindered through me is key. When I have faith, I know that there’s no need to strive, no need to worry, no need to push. I trust that I’m guided, and that even if I take a wrong turn, I can get back on track and appreciate the detour for the lessons that it gave me. But previously, surrender has felt infuriatingly elusive. How does one simply “let go” of trying to do everything we can to obtain something we want so desperately?

Six weeks ago I began working with the “Lunar Abundance” practice created by Dr Ezzie Spencer in her book, “An Abundant Life: Flourishing with the cycles of the Moon”. Ezzie’s practice provides a framework whereby you set a feelings based intention at the new moon, and then use the lunar cycle as a natural time keeper and self reflection tool to manifest your intention. At the last new moon, I found myself setting my second ever lunar abundance intention:

I feel safe, held and supported, trusting and knowing that the divine within me is constantly guiding me towards living my souls purpose.

Little did I realise what I was conjuring with this intention. The setting of it arose organically and intuitively through the process, and I assumed it was about my ongoing desire to discover my souls purpose. But I was also actually asking to find my faith. Following the practice, in which I intentionally felt and embodied those feelings of safety, of being held and supported, of trusting and knowing that I’m being guided by God towards my purpose, I was manifesting. I was making magic. It felt so sublimely good to feel the way I wanted to feel, and by intentionally doing so, I believe I flicked a metaphysical switch that had me realise that I’m now feeling the feelings because I already am being guided. I realised at the full moon that I didn’t have to imagine the intention manifesting in order to feel the feelings, because the intention already was manifest, and the guidance had been there all along – I just hadn’t recognised it before. I just need to feel the feelings and then remember that the divine is always working through me. It was around this time that the shift took place, and things began to flow. Like I said before, I believe it was a culmination of multiple contributing factors that brought me to this shift point, but this specific aspect felt particularly relevant and enlightening, highlighting for me what had changed. It was so easy. I’m in awe.

So am I insured from ever again losing my faith in this respect? Well I’m not sure, probably not. As in my more general spiritual journey, it’s possible that there may be times that my faith will waver, but I believe that I have the tools and practices that will always bring me back into alignment and back to my sense of faith. Faith therefore isn’t something I have to feel obliged to perpetually uphold in an attempt to maintain a spiritual identity, but something that I can trust will always be available to me when I’m ready to come home to myself after the inevitable missteps into suffering.


Main image credit: Rainbows 526 by Rocky Raybel via Flickr.  Used under licence.

The glorious perfection of a messy life

For so long I’ve felt stunted in writing in this space.  In fits and spurts I manage to create a little something here and there, but consistency has eluded me, pretty well from the start.  I go for weeks or months without writing, and then announce out of the blue when I’m back.

I’ve questioned this erratic pattern, I’ve told myself that if I want to make something of my writing I need to get consistent, I need to be creating content, I need/should/must do this and that.  Constant judgement and criticism.  And that, my friend, is a prime recipe for procrastination & paralysis.

When inspiration hits, the words come flowing in my mind.  I’m consumed by them, I’m illuminated by them, I’m propelled by them.

Sometimes, I prioritise getting them out of my head and onto the paper or screen.  Other times, I tell myself “later”, because there’s the cooking and the washing and the million other things on the to-do list.  Generally, later never comes, or if it does, the words seem to have left the building – what was earlier an abundant overflow of ideas and words becomes a deserted, empty, echoing chamber.  That is frustrating.

The thing is, I know that it’s futile to wait until my ducks are all in a row to make a go of creating something of beauty, meaning or significance.  And yet, it mostly feels like life is always in the way.

My journey, particularly over the past 3 years, has bought me so far.  So much healing, so much growth, so much expansion.  And yet, so often I find myself questioning why I haven’t reached my destination yet – I have this vague concept of arriving in a place of perfection where all my wounds are healed, I’ve got my sh*t completely sorted, I’m in perfect health, I’m living a life that from an external perspective looks successful, and I’m in perfect alignment with the divine and living my soul’s purpose.  From that place, I tell myself, I’ll be able to share words of wisdom that are truly of service.

This egoic questioning is ceaseless, and the judgement and criticism of not being “there” and of being where I’m at, of course, drags me down and pulls me further and further away from this imaginative nirvana.  It also goes against everything I’ve been taught.

It physically feels like being caught in the thick and tangled web of a mammoth spider, so rope-like and thick that it chokes my breath and holds me captive, blocks my view, weighs me down and slows me to a crawl.  It feels incomprehensibly penetrating, like it pierces through my body as though it wasn’t even there.  And yet, I know there is a way out.  I know that I haven’t been wound and tightly bound by any spider, helplessly trapped and doomed for annihilation.  I walked my own way into the web, and got myself into this mess, entangling myself more and more with every egoic thought that I entertained.

And so, the time eventually arrives when I see the thoughts for what they are, I recognise that they’re just thoughts and they’re not me and they’re not truth, and I am freed.  Things pick up, and I swing into an up-cycle where I’m on top of the world and at peace within.

I know, when I’m on the high, that the low thoughts will return.  I’m aware and on the lookout.  Sometimes, when they arrive, I see them for what they are, and I sidestep another low.  Other times, they hit me and I forget all I’ve learnt, and I go through the cycle again until I catch a glimpse of the light and bring myself back to peace again.  And on and on it goes.

The downs have become fewer and further between, but they have persisted.  Sometimes, the very fact that I’ve avoided a downer in so long becomes fodder for my desperate ego to latch onto, as I criticise myself for falling victim to this habitual pattern again after doing so well.  Why, I ask myself, do I allow this to happen when I know better?  Why do I fall continually when I know how to rise, why do I fall victim when I know what’s coming?  Why do I allow myself to descend into hell when I know how to reside in heaven?  Why do I do this, as I watch my peers and teachers continue to rise and transcend their hell?  And then, in a disorienting twist of consciousness, I know that this thought is just a thought and if I allow it to it will drag me down further, and yet I believe it.  I merge with it.  I become overwhelmingly ensnared within the web.  I identify with the egoic part of me that says this is true, even though I know it’s not and I know it’s simply a thought that my mind is having.  **Exhausting.**  Confusing.

So today I’m here.  The thoughts and ideas of my morning mind wanderings are not morphing into the words right now that I expected, but they’re along similar lines.  What I know is this: just because I haven’t got it all worked out, just because I haven’t arrived in that utopian paradise where I’m essentially a saint or a guru or spiritually enlightened, doesn’t mean I don’t have value to share.  Just because I don’t have all the answers doesn’t mean that there’s not value in the lessons I have learned, or even in sharing my lows along with my highs.  My intention has never been to seek sympathy or publicly air my demons for the purpose of narcissistically offloading my woes.  I speak of my shadows and darknesses in the hope that I can aid someone, anyone, even just a little, in lightening their load along with me mine.

And then, so easefully and gracefully, everything changes.  I remind myself that the utopian paradise, the idealistic destination, doesn’t exist – it’s a figment of my imagination.  There is no destination.  Only a perpetual journey.  In the simple turn of a thought, I find myself surrendering to what is and letting go of the pain and the epic struggle.  The spiderweb disolves into nothingness.  I discover that I’m back on the upswing, and I’m once again living in heaven on earth.


Main image credit: Rain and Rust by Mooganic via Flickr.  Used under licence.

The Vulnerability of Devoting to your Biggest & Boldest Dreams

I sat under the shade of the magnificent ornamental pear tree in Mum’s backyard, soaking up the glorious early autumn weather on a lazy afternoon, watching the kids play on the grass. I marvelled at the miracle of the tree. I gazed at the branches above me, the leaves, the canopy, and considered the fact that this sprawling beauty had begun life as a tiny seed. One small, seemingly insignificant seed contained all the potential within it to grow into that beautiful big tree that stood above me, home and playground to a myriad of insects and birds, a source of shade, a beauty to behold in the backyard.

That tiny seed, buried in the earth, was given all the right conditions to allow it to sprout and reach for the light, until it broke through the surface of the soil. Cell by cell, it continued to grow and transform as its trajectory remained focused on the light. Cell by cell, from tiny seedling, to sapling, to small tree to large, cell by cell, transforming from green shoots to wooden branches. Cell by cell, growing leaves to soak up the energy of the sun, and transmute that energy via the miracle of photosynthesis into new growth. Can you even comprehend the number of cellular processes it took over the course of more than 15 years to get from seed to sprawling tree? There was no rushing, no striving, no taking shortcuts, no lamenting how far there still was to go.

Seedling with seed case

Seedling

It seems that so many of us are so identified with our ego, and so accustomed to an instant gratification culture that we’ve lost the ability to allow slow and steady progress. We want what we want, and we want it now. I know that I often find myself abandoning possibilities that seem like too much work for too little return in the near or foreseeable future. What a loss – so much potential abandoned in the name of speed and ease.

I’ve been told by a trusted seer that in a past life, I was successful architect living and working in Italy. I worked in partnership with my father on a huge project of thirty years duration. Within days of the completion of this monumental venture, the area was hit by a severe earthquake. My life’s work was flattened.

I sense that I’m only just beginning to comprehend the gravity of this experience and the impact it’s still having on me today. I’ve learnt that we carry our energy from lifetime to lifetime, and as such, the energy of the experiences we have can stay with us too. From my admittedly limited understanding, I’d say that the soul-destroying devastation of having my life’s work ravaged within days of its completion was not something that I adequately processed or healed from that in that lifetime, nor in any of my lifetimes since. And so, today, I still carry that burdensome energy in a way that has me avoid committing to dreams that require slow and steady incremental progress, a long term large scale outlook, or little returns in the near future. The excruciating pain of committing to such a dream, and pursuing it for so many years, only to have it destroyed virtually as soon as it was finally realised, taught me to protect myself from ever having to endure such a shattering experience again. That unbearable pain still resides deep within my energy field. My ego feels the fear that it induces, and it knows well how to best protect me: to prevent me from ever attempting such a feat again. It whispers, almost inaudibly, “Don’t attempt to realise such a grand and large-scale dream, because then it can’t be taken away from you, and that would destroy you.” Even more shrewdly, my ego gives me all the seemingly sensible and valid reasons why I don’t really want to pursue that dream anyway. Simple solution.

Except, that it’s not. The seeds of our dreams, big and small, lie dormant in our soul. All that potential and possibility, encapsulated within an unpursued dream. Waiting for the right conditions to allow them to sprout and reach for the light of day. When you begin to awaken to your spirituality and the truth of your soul, these things can no longer hide quietly. They become illuminated, and you can’t un-see them. They can no longer be ignored.

Our ego holds those seeds captive. It keeps them sealed in a packet, stored high and almost forgotten somewhere on a shelf in the dark garage.

By shedding light on these egoic shadows and blockages that past life experiences, or any other negative life experience, have created in our energy field, we might initially feel more stuck than ever. When we shine a torch upon an object, it suddenly casts a more defined shadow than what we might previously have been able to observe in the regular light of day. But once we know it’s there, we can use mindfulness to disidentify from our egoic thoughts, and transmute that shadow into light. That’s all the shadow is, an illusion. The shadow cast by the torch is not a tangible object, and it comes and goes depending on the angle and strength of the light. The shadow within is similarly just an illusion cast by the darkness of the ego. When we know that, we can use mindfulness to infuse our energy field with light, and transmute the shadows. We can say to ourselves:

“Those fears aren’t me. They are my ego, doing its job of keeping me small and safe by avoiding the potential greatness lying dormant within me, because greatness implies vulnerability. I don’t need to obey my ego. I can chose differently. I can give the seeds of my dreams the conditions they need to begin shooting towards the light. I can chose the step by step, slow burn of committing to a grand dream, knowing that it has the potential to reap the most glorious of rewards. I can remind myself of the beauty and light inherent in the process of pursuing my dream, that it’s not all about the final outcome. I can remind myself that in truth, in the eyes of God, without the judgment of any ego, there is no tragedy in a fulfilled dream being destroyed. Loss is not inherently bad, but our thinking makes it so. I can remind myself that even under such circumstances, there was so much beauty and love and light in every step of the way.”

It could be said that the real tragedy is in a dream never being pursued in the first place, in unfulfilled potential not even being attempted. But the truth is, even this is only a tragedy from the perspective of ego. But given that we have this beautiful opportunity of life, why would we not want to bring as much light into it as is humanly possible? Why would we not jump wholeheartedly at the marvellous opportunity to give form to the miracle of God inherent in the potential of the seed, by allowing it to physically express it’s divinity as it journeys toward the light?

Grow little one


All images photographed by me. ©


I’m looking forward to diving deep into my shadow with Belinda Davidson at her Shadow Working Workshop on the Gold Coast next week.  Details here.

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Taking Orders from the Cardinal

A little birdie (a cardinal, in fact) told me that it’s important for my soul that I get my butt back into this space, and start getting light-heartedly serious about the business of being me, loud and proud, through sharing my story.  I listened, took note, and proceeded to do nothing about it.  Excuses, you know.  Seemingly valid ones.  Then, that little birdie got in my face again.  The instant I saw him the second time, I knew he meant business.  It’s time that I follow his guidance.

This was my first cardinal messenger - the animoon reading for the week email from Sarah Wilder at The Fifth Element Life. Click image to link to Sarah's site.

This was my first cardinal messenger – the animoon reading for the week email from Sarah Wilder at The Fifth Element Life.


So much beauty and light has been shining down on my little world lately.  I feel as though I’ve turned another corner, a very distinct corner, and the path forward here is upward.  Not upward in an uphill slog kind of way, but upward as in towards blessedly higher ground.  I’ve let go of those niggling doubts and worries that were telling me that my spiritual path perhaps “doesn’t work for me”, that “I’m not as good or worthy as all those beaming lightworkers”, and “I’m doomed for failure and mediocrity”.  I see you Ego, and I say “Thanks for sharing.  I choose differently.”

My beautiful little boy began school a few weeks ago, and it’s been a wonderful new beginning for both of us.  He’s ready and raring to step into this next phase of his sweet childhood, and honestly, so am I.  I’ve learnt to delight in the joys of motherhood, and to weather the challenges with as much grace as I can muster.  But I’m so excited for this next phase in our journey, and the energy of these past few weeks has been that of excitement, anticipation, positivity, new beginnings, and growth.  He’s transitioned into school brilliantly, and I’ve transitioned into being a mum of two school children without a hitch.  (OK, I almost shed a tear before dropping him off on his first day!)

My word for the year. Image by Jo Klima of The Darling Tree

My word for the year. Image by Jo Klima of The Darling Tree

The summer holidays allowed me some space to re-establish a DEVOTED practice.  I realised at some point that last year, whilst I was showing up to a committed daily practice of a chakra cleanse meditation, most of the time I wasn’t really connecting.  The lights were on but nobody was home.  It was surface level, and I was just going through the motions.  This was partly because I felt that the only time I could fit my practice in with consistency was at 5.30am, but bleary eyed and sleep deprived, I often struggled to keep myself from drifting to sleep, and I couldn’t muster the energy to do it standing up to prevent that.  I felt proud that I was doing the work, but I was ignoring the reality that I was actually only managing to do half the work.  I couldn’t concentrate, my mind would constantly wander, and I would be rushing through it before it was time to get on with my day, instead of allowing the time to feel my way intuitively through the process.  I was still reaping benefits, but I certainly wasn’t experiencing the magic I’d come to expect and witness in others on a similar path.  The gentleness of our summer routine provided the breathing space that allowed me more time and less pressure, so that I naturally found the depth and connection again that I realised I’d been mostly missing for months.  And so, as a consequence, my energy has skyrocketed off the charts, into seriously high-vibing territory that not only feels wonderful, but is what I knew I was missing last year.

Practically, this new energy I’m rocking looks like:

  • Feeling naturally moved to begin a daily routine of walking in nature. This is something that I began intermittently last year, but for a long time I found myself saying “I should walk more”.  The difference now is that I’m moved to do it, I’m eager to get out there, because I love it!  There’s no pressure, no forcing myself, no yearning for motivation.  It just happens.  I also realised that I really didn’t have an excuse – we live less than 2 minutes walk from wetlands with a walking track!  Until this year, I’d kind of ignored that fact, and used the excuse that it wasn’t very nice, it was too close to the roads, and there was often rubbish lingering around.  But I see it with new eyes now.  Those wetlands are teeming with bird life, native flora, and miracles everywhere I look.  I love my morning walk, and I’m feeling the benefits on SO MANY levels.
  • Committing to a 5 minute morning yoga practice. Again, this has evolved naturally, and it’s something I look forward to.  Physically, my yoga flow has never been smoother, my biceps have never been stronger, and my body feels limber and spacious.  In the past I’ve used time as an excuse to avoid a home practice, but 5 minutes a day has had incredible impact for me.
  • I’m getting more sleep. If you’ve read some of my earlier posts, you’ll know that this has been a life-long self-sabotage issue for me. I decided to surrender.  I let it go.  I stopped listening to the beating my ego would give me after every late night.  I accepted that this is something I do, it’s possibly going to be something I do for the rest of my days, and trying to fix it isn’t working.  I’m not clear on the exact mechanism at work here, but something shifted – I naturally began choosing to head to bed earlier.  It became a priority.  I wanted to accept the responsibility of making choices with consideration of the consequences.  Far out, it feels so much better when I’ve slept a decent stint for consecutive nights!  Who would have thought?!?!  It’s still something I need to be very mindful of, and I wouldn’t go so far as to say I’ve overcome this destructive habit, but I’m finding it increasingly easier to be aware of the impact of my sleep choices, and of wanting to make choices that have positive longer-term outcomes (rather than the instant gratification of rebelliously revelling in an late-nighter).  (The late-nighters often aren’t even that enjoyable anyway!!) (Disclosure: I did stay up late to complete and publish this post! I was driven, it felt as though it was almost beyond my control.  The words were hankering to get out of me and onto the screen to be shared with my audience. I went with it. More on that below.)
  • I’m manifesting like a boss! Sometimes intentionally, sometimes not. I won 2 free tickets to see Danielle LaPorte speak live in Melbourne, and then I scored an extra ticket as well, total value $375 (I’ve delighted in telling the details of this awesome manifesting story to anyone who’ll listen!).  I’ve secured a 3 month pro-bono 1:1 life coaching series.  I’ve been invited to participate online programs with incredible women that have come with PERFECT timing, taught me huge lessons, and given me amazing outcomes and momentum.
  • I’m feeling more energetic, less grumpy, and better able to remain mindful in my parenting experience. My overall demeanour and energy is lighter – I’m even saying hi to people I pass when I’m walking, which is totally out of my comfort zone!  I have the energy and motivation to do basic things like housework, without having to force myself.  I just get stuff done.  Messages, omens, and signs are flowing to me constantly.  I see the beauty and miracles in everyday life.

Magic & Miracles 1Magic & Miracles 2 miracles 3

  • Life is just working better. I have two examples to illustrate this.
    Example 1: A few weeks back, we purchased a large filing cabinet for our office.  Because it is so large, we arranged delivery, and the sales assistant advised that the delivery company would contact me on the morning of delivery to confirm a time.  On the first of the two possible delivery days, I kept my mobile within reach at all times.  No call.  At 3.30pm, I bundled the kids into the car to head to swimming lessons.  I turned the key in the ignition – nothing.  I got the kids out again, cancelled their swimming lesson, and called the RACV.  I quickly knew not to get upset or annoyed about it – worse things could happen, and I was grateful that it happened at home rather than in some random car park.  I thought that was the silver lining.  But it got even better.  At 4.20pm, when I “should” have been sitting poolside, I heard a vehicle out the front, and peeked through the window expecting to see the RACV truck.  Instead, it was the delivery truck with our filing cabinet.
    Example 2: It was a Wednesday evening, and I was in the backyard admiring the beautiful summer sunset.  I invited my husband outside to see it too.  Whilst there, gazing upward, he noticed that we had some significantly broken tiles on our roof.  The next day, he called a professional to come and check it out.  The roof guy was able to come that same day, and he confirmed that it needed substantial repairs.  He was booked to do another job the following day, but was waiting on a part needed for that job.  The part didn’t arrive, so he was able to fix our roof that day, Friday, instead.  That weekend, there was a massive downpour.  Bullet dodged.

There’s so much more I could share.  Suffice it to say, life is grand.  That’s not the same as perfect though.  There are still challenges, there always will be.  But how I’m facing them is shifting.  For example, we’ve been having ongoing and protracted drainage and plumbing issues with both of the showers in our house since we moved in over 2 years ago.  After repairs and complete replacements, we’re still having serious water leakage issues.  I’m tempted to be stressed out about this situation, but I can see beyond it.  We now have one water-tight and working shower.  We’ll sort the other one out in due time.  Worse things have happened.  I’m also feeling into the energy of the situation, to ascertain the reasons why we’ve attracted this into our experience, as well as contemplating the symbology represented by water leakages.  I know, with certainty, that we can resolve this situation at its root cause by resolving the blocked energy.  When we’re in alignment, this will resolve with ease.

So I’m feeling good.  There is ebb and flow, and that is to be expected.  I’m observing and learning every day.  Magic surrounds me.  That magic comes via my devotion.  And it’s is why I’m here in this space today.  I’ve been on the verge of sharing here a few times over the past few months, but something has held me back (it seems to be an ongoing pattern of mine).  I’ve hesitated and questioned whether my stories, my experiences, are worthy of sharing, whether they hold any value.  This hesitation and questioning has peaked in response to an experience which took place shortly after publishing my last blog post, in which a dear friend of mine was very brave and honest with me.  She told me that she had deep concerns about my spiritual path, and that she needed to put some boundaries in place for her own protection, and that of her family, if we were to continue our friendship.  This revelation shook me deeply.  I can’t recall ever having had an experience before where someone essentially condemned, albeit in a loving and considerate way, my beliefs and my way of life.  Initially, it was unnerving and incredibly uncomfortable, but I put on a brave face and told her that I was ok with her requests.  However as time went on, and the situation marinated in my mind, my ego began to launch savage battle with my higher self as I tried my best to not take my friends opinions and actions personally.  I wasn’t sure whether I could accept her requests.  I wasn’t sure whether I could be friends with someone who wouldn’t accept me in my entirety, who felt that my spirituality posed a danger to her and her children.  The situation drew anger, opinion and judgment from most of those whom I shared with.  I knew in my heart that I didn’t reject my friend or her stance, in fact I respected her bravery, honesty and integrity in approaching such a delicate topic with both care and respect.  I have no issue with us having different beliefs.  But I found it difficult to determine whether I could continue to spend time with her.  I have a strong value of respect for others choices and beliefs, religious and spiritual included.  In my world, I can accept and live with the reality that others have different beliefs to me, and that we can coexist harmoniously with that difference.  It is my belief that there is more than one path to God.  But not everyone shares that belief.  How could I share a friendship with someone who rejects my path and feels the need to protect herself from my way of life?  Initially, I thought I could find a way to continue our friendship in line with her boundaries, that we could meet in neutral territory and simply avoid the topic.  I thought that would be the moral and loving thing to do.  But I soon realised that such a path would come at a cost.  I would be dishonouring myself.  I would be saying, symbolically, that my beliefs and my spirituality are not worth taking a stand for.  That it’s ok for someone to place conditions on our friendship that dampen my spirit and leave me feeling like there is something inherently evil about how I live my life.  I know my friend had pure intentions in what she shared with me, that she came from a place of love.  But ultimately, she was saying that how I live, and who I am, is not ok.

My uncle's tatoo - people of all belief systems and religions CAN coexist in harmony.

My uncle’s tatoo – people of all belief systems and religions CAN coexist in harmony.

Whilst I’m proud of the way that we both handled this situation, and that we’ve come to a mutual understanding of how to respect each other’s wishes, the after-effects are lingering for me.  Whilst I believe in the depths of my heart and soul that the crux of my spirituality is nothing but unconditional love in its purest form, this exchange with my friend has given my ego fresh fodder to keep me safe and small.  It speaks to me of the risks of speaking my truth, that I might be judged and attacked, next time with hatred and viciousness.  It tells me that people will misunderstand me, that people are looking for an argument, for a way to wield their power.  It tells me that people might associate me with things that are not, in fact, a part of my belief system, and use that against me.  It tells me to be scared.  It tells me that life is so much easier when I just keep my mouth shut and fit in with the crowd.  It tells me that I don’t need to share this stuff anyway, I can keep it to myself, keep it private.

My ego is doing such a beautiful job of protecting me.  All she wants is for me to survive, and she’s making use of the most effective tools that evolution has given her, the tools that have brought humans so far in perpetuating the species for eons.  The thing is though, I’m beyond survival.  I’ve got that handled.  Thank you, dear ego, for lovingly doing your job.  But I choose differently.

Life might be “easier” when we keep quiet and fit in, but for me, that feels unbearably stifling.  I have these words, these expressions of my experience and my truth, that are conceived to be spoken, not swallowed.  When I suppress them, they don’t just magically disappear – they are energy, physical matter on the quantum level, that doesn’t vanish through repression.  They stay inside of me, and they turn bitter.  They’re there, and they’re so loud that I can’t ignore them, so unless I allow them to move through me, they fester and grow, and eventually seek an alternate route of expression, through rage, tears, or illness – they’ll find any means of escape.  So “easier” is perhaps not an accurate term to use.

Tell your story with pride, said the cardinal.  Accept this moment as it is, he chirped.  So I’m acknowledging the truth, the words, the expressions of my experience, and I’m accepting that they are here, to be born out into the world when I’m moved to give voice to them – when they’re ripe and ready to flow.  It’s a lesson I’m learning over and over and over again.   I’ve discovered that it’s my destiny to share – one of the many essences of my soul is to give expression to my words, and to have them be heard.  And I’m devoted to being in alignment with the light of my soul, so silence is not even an option for me.  My words are part of my soul’s purpose here on this human journey.  I am devoted to living that purpose.

Image credit: Fire by Zdenko Zivkovic. Used under license.

Image credit: Fire by Zdenko Zivkovic. Used under license.


Main image credit: Mr Cardinal by Dawn Huczek, used under license.

Drumming up Drama

Oh how skilfully our ego can take us over and sweep us up in a shitstorm of drama and stress! After thinking recently that I was starting to get a relatively decent handle on catching my mind and avoiding identifying with my ego, the universe delivered me an excellent situation which perfectly highlights just how deep this unconsciousness runs, and that mindfulness is an ongoing practice. No need to be getting cocky any time soon!

My day, my energy, shifted in an instant. It had been a pretty regular day, I was out of my usual routine but it was nothing startling and all just normal life stuff. I was feeling good despite a few little niggles here and there, my energy has been refreshingly and gratifyingly on the rise lately and I am recognising the pay off from my devoted spiritual practice. All it took was a quick glance at an email that had arrived in my inbox in the early evening.

My heart squeezed. My stomach instantly began churning. I felt ill. I was physically shaking.

It’s comical retelling the story with hindsight. This instant and dramatic shift in energy, all from a short email. No terrible news had been delivered. No significant problem had been revealed. I won’t go into the details of this private matter, but suffice to say, it was a simple email. It was simply a small piece of information, and a request for my opinion.

But it’s what my ego, my thinking mind, did with that information, that sent me into a tailspin.

The thoughts that I conjured from this short email were mostly along the lines of:
– People I love must think I’ve been deceiving them;
– My words and actions have caused other people to worry, stress, and take unnecessary actions that they would otherwise not have taken;
– I’ve disappointed people I love;
– I’ve inconvenienced people I love;
– People I love must be angry with me, annoyed with me, and think less of me.

Yep, although I was very concerned about my loved ones, the crux of my freak out came down to my concern around what others think of me, and I concocted all of those assumptions based on a brief email that included no comment whatsoever about me, or what anyone thought about me.

So the drama was firmly established in my mind, and then some conversation ensued around a highly emotional topic.  Any other day, I would have simply shed a few tears. But in this situation, I allowed it to snowball me staight into meltdown city.

Situations where our reputation or character is perceived as being under threat are not uncommon, and it’s a normal human response to try to maintain a favourable standing amongst our family and community. Evolution created our brains in that way, increasing our chances of survival amongst the safety and support of the tribe. It’s a base chakra phenomenon, and our ego isn’t all bad – it’s a survival mechanism.

But this brain wiring does cause us a lot of unnecessary stress, and we’re at a point in human evolution where we are better served by being aware of this process, and how to use that knowledge to reduce our suffering.

All of my thoughts around this situation were just that – thoughts, created in my mind. They weren’t truth. No one had said any of those things. And yet, I believed them as truth, and I gave them meaning without even consciously thinking about it – I am a bad person. The churning and nausea in my stomach was a clear sign that the weaknesses in my solar plexus had taken a huge hit. My self confidence isn’t unshakeable. My ability to safeguard my energy isn’t yet quite as robust as I’d like it to be. I place a grossly unbalanced weight of importance in what other people think of me.

If I’d managed in that moment to observe my thoughts and avoid identifying with them, I’d have been able to handle the ensuing conversations much more gracefully. I’d have been able to calmly and effectively respond to the email without drama. I’d have been able to see the situation for what it was, and not attach all that meaning to it. I’d have avoided much of the pain, suffering and tears that followed.

This situation has been an illuminating learning experience for me. I’m so grateful that these days, I can at least recognise what I’m doing to myself, and diffuse the anguish and suffering a hell of a lot more quickly than in the past.

As I said to my mum earlier today, tongue in cheek, clearly I needed to drum up a bit of drama for myself, seeing as I’ve been so stress-free lately and it felt too foreign! Thanks for that ego, job well done.  Time to move on.


Photo credit: by Nicholas A. Tonelli. Modified and used under license.