I am acutely aware that it is impossible to run from our pain, from what we fear and from what is unresolved within us; I’ve made it my way of life to examine inner resistance.
And for the past two months I have been spending time in Europe, intentionally choosing to be 5,000 miles away from where my marriage began to fall apart six months ago. Part fleeing from pain, part choosing to put myself in new and uncomfortable situations through which to face it.
As I spend the end of the summer in the Scandinavian woods and fields, I am awaiting the final email from my lawyer telling me that my divorce is final with equal dread and excitement. I find myself living my days in the quiet rhythm of reflection and self nourishment born from years of healing from chronic illness. And while this is a slow, liminal space, it is in no way stagnant.
There is death and rebirth within me. The dark goddess Kali, Indian deity and patron saint of destruction and rebirth is walking with me, helping me to see and delineate the illusion in my life from the truth.
Its always good to have help clearing away the old seeds that have no life left in them in order to focus your energy on the ones ripe for sprouting.
I walk outside at the farm where I am staying, notebook, phone, cup of tea in my hand. I take a slow walk across the courtyard, past the barn, looking for a suitable spot for my meditation. A meditation traditionally done at 4:00 am, I think mildly to myself as I looked up at the 11 o’clock sunshine streaming across the grass. Well, we do what we can when we can.
I find a spot up on a small hill, tucked into a grove of trees. Large boulders rest in the woods, growing and claiming space like the trees. These boulders have been here since the stone age and many of them have cultural significance, marking important places and community gathering points for people who lived 10,000 years ago. I settle myself next to a stone which reaches the height of my shoulder. As I my eyes close the shape of the stone disappears and instead I feel its presence, like a person sitting beside me.
I begin my chanting meditation. The feelings of anxiety and disconnect that have been prickling within me rise to the surface. I always get uneasy when I touch on unfamiliar soil and meet people who don’t know me well, These feelings arise and saying hello to them, I allow myself to feel a deeper fear and sadness that I have been repressing for a few days. Unworthiness. Fear of not belonging. It washes over me and I gently place my attention on each of my chakras as I begin my chanting meditation.
I chant the mantra “Ek Ong Kar Sat Nam Siri Wa He Guru” in a hypnotic rhythm, looping and vibrating the sound through each of the eight energy centers starting at the root of my body.
I realize that I have both a fear of being seen, of fully stepping into my creative power and self expression, and a fear of not being seen, a fear of never stepping into that creative power and potential. These fears represent the age old process of transformation: we are already blooming into the light but we are afraid of the journey into the unknown and letting go of the places we were once so familiar with.
I finish my meditation, and with my heart and mind soft, silent waves of encouragement and guidance wash over me as I bring my palms together at my heart.
So much of my journey these past few months has been about claiming my worthiness, claiming my power to choose what I want, what I know feels right in the face of noise, chaos and distraction in the world.
I have felt shame around not being a “perfect yogi” who rises with the sun, even though my psyche and entire life revolves and functions around the principles of yoga. I have felt sadness and disappointment in my self for not having brought certain dreams and creations to fruition yet, even though I am still diligently pursuing and birthing these dreams according to their own timing. I have felt the self blame as I continue to heal and live with health challenges even though I am doing everything in my power to be healthy and vital.
Learning to thrive during transition periods requires remembering that we are the only ones who can define truth and integrity for ourselves. As the ones in the midst of transformation, our own souls voice is the strongest voice of guidance no matter how many mentors, friends or allies we have cheering us on.
We are never going to fully meet the expectations and projections of others, and if we use meeting those expectations as a measurement of our worthiness, achievement and success we won’t fulfill the highest outcome of our transformation and instead live lives which are empty of our true purpose and which only echo with a longing of our authentic, un-lived life.
I want to instill in you my (friend, family, client, or fellow human), the conviction that you are worthy, that despite changing inner and outer landscapes and circumstances you are brilliant. Your capacity for creating the world, work, art, change and peace in the world that you envision is only limited by your belief that you are not enough.
Lets be real, transition is often messy and strange. Most of the time the journey is not glamorous. But it is rich, and finding that sustenance amidst change is more rewarding than anything in the world. It’s where we learn who we are, deeply, and for that I am grateful.
Did you find these words helpful or inspiring? If so, please share them with the ones you love. Everything is better when shared. And let me know if these words resonated with you. Where in your life are you transitioning and have the opportunity to keep rising towards the light? I’d love to hear your personal insights.