Welcome, dear reader. My name is Yvonne, and I am, among other things, a certified practitioner of Soul Realignment. If you are interested in a reading, which will give you a comprehensive overview of your divine gifts, as well as any karmic patterns (from present or past lives) that may be keeping you from fully expressing those gifts, please let me know.:-)
Things continue to change. My responsibilities at my current place of employment have expanded slightly, which will most likely also result in a slightly higher pay rate (I don’t know the details yet). It seems to have happened entirely out of the blue (I’ve been “on the lookout” for new job opportunities, not expecting anything different from where I am now)… but since at this point I no longer believe in coincidences, I do not think it qualifies as one. Especially considering the somewhat challenging aspect of those new responsibilities. In short, they involve more direct contact with customers – which, for someone as deeply introverted as I am, is a rather big deal… to put it mildly. 😉 I might as well admit that a few years ago, I would have run screaming (metaphorically, of course) at the barest hint of such a development. At some previous workplaces, having to perform any sort of direct “customer service” would inevitably result in a slew of intense psychosomatic symptoms (stomach cramps, headaches, insomnia and so on). Which are not completely gone, by the way. They’re just… much more manageable. To the point that I am actually willing to “test my limits” in this area, without too much external pressure. I still wouldn’t have ASKED for those responsibilities out of my own initiative, to be honest; but being invited to consider them felt like an important opportunity to explore the scope of my personal growth so far, rather than a predicament. And that, in itself, is a pretty big change for me, all things considered.
It also ties in perfectly with the theme of “facing old fears in order to move forward” – which is a message I seem to be getting a lot lately via my Tarot deck. 😉 Let me take this opportunity to document a recent reading I gave myself, since it was rather remarkably to the point. I did a Chatelaine Spread (as described in the companion booklet to the Vintage Wisdom Oracle by Victoria Moseley – though I used Tarot cards instead), which consists of six cards, in the following positions:
1) The Chatelaine – foremost issues of the person for whom the reading is meant;
2) The Scissors – the most effective way to release unwanted influences;
3) The Magnifying Glass – hidden areas, which are either buried or in need of confrontation;
4) The Needle Kit – the person’s healing strengths to the world;
5) The Notepad – the lesson;
6) The Key – the wisdom that opens a secret door to new possibilities.
So what are my “foremost issues”, you might wonder? Well, I got the Seven of Cups – which is “a card of imagination, dreams and flights of fancy. This card indicates that the person in question is scattering their energies or is dealing with too many options. It represents living in a dream world, avoiding responsibilities, and creating illusions.” In other words, your classic “wishy washy”, escapist, “head in the clouds” type of person – which is precisely how anybody would have described me, at any point in my life (except, perhaps, for the past few years; though even that is open for discussion). For the scissors, I got the Two of Cups – which seems to indicate that the most effective way to release unwanted influences would be to start a new relationship… or to forgive someone. Since I can’t think of anyone I haven’t forgiven at this point, I’m assuming that the forming of new connections is the recommended remedy for old emotional baggage. The magnifying glass was the Five of Swords, which represents betrayal. I interpret that to mean that in order to be successful at the abovementioned new relationships, I need to confront my fear of betrayal. Which somehow circles back to forgiveness and releasing old hurts (which of course are going to resurface in the context of starting something new). The needle kit was Two of Pentacles; and so my “healing strength” seems to be my “adaptability and the ability to go with the flow”. It’s a work in progress, but I can definitely claim significant improvements in this area. The Notepad was The Moon: “the card of dreams, the subconscious, psychic abilities, and intuition”, which “beckons us to find our inner voice and reach higher levels of enlightenment”. And so the lesson seems to be transitioning from spiritual escapism (represented by the Seven of Cups) to spiritual wisdom. The description of the Moon card also mentions “facing past fears head on in order to continue on our journey”. And, finally, the key was The Tower – which may seem like a catastrophic card, at first glance, since it represents “upheaval, disaster, reversal in fortune, or a striking revelation”. And yet it also means “a monumental change or shift” that “reverses the current false or shaky situation in order to pave the way for new opportunities.” What it brings to mind for me, instantly, is the support materials for my Holosync meditation program – which talk about our old mental “models of reality” crumbling in upon themselves as a result of deep and consistent meditation practice… only to be replaced by more efficient systems, organized at a higher level of perception. In other words, your sense of what is real and how the world works must fall apart, just like this old crumbling tower, before you can build a new edifice, worthy of the new you. In that sense, my tower has fallen already, so there is nothing to fear. It’s just yet another way to rephrase the need for releasing the old, in order to make room for the new. See how it all beautifully comes together? I AM making new connections through the Meetup group I mentioned earlier, which leads me to examine past relationship issues from a new perspective. I AM evolving, and adapting, and questioning various self-imposed limitations. In a sense, all of the above can also be summed up as transforming perceived handicaps into gifts. Finding the value in vulnerability. Opening myself up to new experiences. Carefully, but courageously stepping out of the comfort zone. So let me just acknowledge and appreciate all of that. After all, it can take just a few small course adjustments to shift an entire trajectory. In other words, baby steps matter. No achievement is too small or trivial to be celebrated. Well done, dear Self. Keep going. 🙂
As promised, here I am with an update regarding my previous entry. 🙂 I just completed a lovely, relaxing yoga routine… and I am also happy to announce that I did attend a Meetup event yesterday. As unlikely as it seemed to find a local group of likeminded people interested in really deep conversation… it actually happened. Possibly because I just wasn’t willing to give up this time. It was a wonderfully nourishing get together, and I am very much looking forward to more.
What I want reflect on today, however, is how this amazingly positive experience seems to be the simply inevitable result of the recent changes in my general approach to life. I have spent the past few weeks focusing intently on the examination and “reprogramming” of various limiting beliefs – with the help of an amazing book I had found at a local esoteric bookstore. “Working with Chakras for Belief Change” by Nikki Gresham-Record. As well as another online course I am doing: Your Energy Codes: The Next Level of Energy Medicine, with Dr. Sue Morter. Several years ago, I completed a basic energy medicine course with Donna Eden and David Feinstein (through Mindvalley.com). I haven’t been particularly good at implementing its practices in my daily life (yes, you probably guessed it: lack of time!!!… ;-P), but I still couldn’t resist the temptation to take the concept of working with your life force energy to the next level. Which, as I am finding, is a lot more about a general life philosophy than about specific daily practices or “exercises” (though those are important, too). To put it in simplest terms, the goal is to “tune in” energetically into a higher soul vibration – which will automatically result in a different life experience. So perhaps this is what’s happening. I am being much more mindful about focusing on the positive aspects of life, the possibilities, the potential for growth and expansion etc.; rather than the problems, the limitations, the pesky daily “failures” and so on. (Someone – I forget who – said that there are no failures; there are only educational experiences. I am inclined to agree.) Theoretically, I’ve been working on this for the past few years already; but I think what has changed is that it has finally become a habit, a natural way of being that I no longer have to keep reminding myself to follow. I think I may have come to genuinely TRUST that “the universe has my back” – rather than simply wish it were so. 😉 It’s been a fluid, gradual change – and I don’t think I can attribute it to any single one personal growth training course or modality. It’s most likely the result of all of them, combined. Of sustained attention and focus over a length of time. So no matter how many of those learning experiences I have seemingly “failed” at over the course of the past few years, I have still been moving steadily forward. Some people grow and change within a single, soul-shattering moment; others take baby steps, with long detours along the way. 😉 But eventually, we all arrive where we’re supposed to. And that is the only thing that matters.
Another interesting “side effect” of those internal shifts seems to be a great increase in my intuitive abilities. I have been exploring various methods of divination: muscle testing, pendulum dowsing, oracle cards, the Tarot… and the more I explore, the more I become aware of simply “knowing” things, without even needing to ask a question. Of course, my rational mind still wants to deny this, or “rationalize it away”; but what has changed is that my rational mind is no longer the ultimate authority on what’s really going on in my life. And perhaps that is the greatest gift of all.
Let me begin today with an acknowledgment of the vast amounts of resistance I am up against in my efforts to continue this blog. I had said before that my time to update it was rather limited, due to external circumstances; however, I am beginning to realize that “lack of time” is probably my most standard excuse for not doing a number of things I say I really want to do, and perhaps it is time to explore its validity. 😉 As it happens, I have recently greatly expanded my understanding of the phenomenon of egoic resistance, thanks to Andrrea Hess’s online course “Unstoppable” – wherein she discusses the various ways we humans tend to sabotage ourselves whenever we decide to implement some changes in our lives. Putting things off due to “lack of time” is a classic example of doing precisely that. In the simplest of terms, we do not procrastinate because we’re “too busy” (or “too lazy”, for that matter); we procrastinate because our subconscious perceives any change as dangerous, and comes up with various clever, sneaky strategies to stop us from establishing new habits that have any real potential for transforming our lives. It’s not a shocking discovery, in and of itself; it’s more of a conscious acknowledgment of something already known on a deeper, murkier level. But sometimes shining just a little bit of light into those murky depths is enough to shift one’s perspective. It is far more helpful and constructive, for example, to acknowledge that procrastination is an expression of our natural survival instinct, than it is to see it as a personal character flaw (which we then proceed to beat ourselves up about… resulting in not only even more procrastination, but also a decrease in self-esteem). It also really helps to understand WHY you can’t seem to “get around” to doing certain things that you say you’d really love to do. According to another one of my favorite personal development teachers, the late Bill Harris of Centerpointe Research Institute, “awareness creates choice”; and so, now that I am well aware of my tendency to hide behind “lack of time” whenever I feel insecure about something I want to do, I have decided to embark on a little experiment. There are three things I somehow never find time for, despite being in love with the idea of doing them – and one of those things is blogging. (I do have a semi-private LiveJournal account, which I update pretty regularly, by the way; but that feels “safe”, due to being mostly accessible to a small group of friends or long-term readers who aren’t likely to “judge” my content… and so it doesn’t require me to venture outside of my comfort zone.) Another one is a consistent yoga practice (I have “flirted” with yoga for years, but never quite committed to it for long enough to notice a significant impact on my health or fitness level). And the third one is joining a social group of like-minded people; not online, but in “real life”. So my little experiment consists of actually doing those three things, this year, on a fairly regular basis. Or, at the very least, no longer lying to myself as to why I am not doing them. Noticing the resistance – without judgement – every time it comes up… and then doing it anyway. Finding the time somehow – even if it means adjusting priorities and skipping something else. Acknowledging the discomfort of testing my limits… even celebrating it as proof of growth. Those are my New Year’s Resolutions, if you please. And I promise to be honest about my success rate, too. (Well, the success rate of blogging will become self-evident right on this page, anyway, through the frequency of subsequent entries… or lack thereof.)
And with that, I wish anyone who happens to see this an amazing 2020. It is already said to be a year of profound changes, for a lot of people – even humanity as a whole. May those changes turn out for the best, however scary or uncomfortable they may look right now. May we all see beyond the chaos and fear-mongering of mainstream media, into the potential of a better future. And may we all have our part in creating said future… starting with our own individual lives. “Being the change”, as it were. Here’s to awareness, courage and conscious choice, in things big and small. Let us honor ourselves for all our efforts. The world is shifting, and we’re along for the ride, and it’s OK to feel uncertain and confused about where we’re going. It’s OK to give ourselves permission to explore what we want out of life, and to prioritize it over what we think we “have” to do. It’s OK to make mistakes. The universe doesn’t judge, and we also have a choice to stop doing that. It’s all about the journey… not the destination (which might also change, by the way, before we even get there). And the journey never ends. Every moment of it is exactly what it needs to be. We are where we need to be. There is no way to prove it, but it is far more helpful and constructive to believe so than to believe otherwise. And therefore so I choose. 😉
Perhaps enough has been said on the topic already, but for some reason I feel compelled to share my frustration with social media. Or, perhaps, with my own seeming inability to relate to its purpose. To put it in simple English, social media claims to help us connect with each other; however, my personal experience has been that the more I strive to be “present” on social media sites (like Facebook – to name the most obvious example), the more DISconnected I feel. The more “old friends” I discover through the platform, the more aware I become of the fact that we are, in truth, no longer friends, because we don’t really keep up with each other’s lives, the way we used to back in the day. Yes, perhaps I can see a picture of what a certain old friend just had for lunch; but that doesn’t tell me how they feel about their life in general, their job, their intimate relationship – if they have one – or whether they’re happy or suicidal, for that matter. That kind of information rarely makes its way into status updates – and, quite honestly, it’s the only kind of information I find worth sharing, more often than not. A superficial Facebook post will never replace a real face-to-face conversation, a phone/Skype chat, an old style “snail mail” letter, or even an email sent directly to me, reminiscing on some shared experience or asking a personal question. It seems to me that most people are not interested in those “outdated” ways of sharing anymore – and that makes the world a very lonely place, as far as I’m concerned.
I should probably add, by way of background info, that I am a somewhat secluded introvert who has always put quality far ahead of quantity in the area of human connections. In other words, a one-to-one meeting with a close friend has always been, and will always be, infinitely more “fun” and fulfilling to me than a public event or a crowded party. Therefore, my motivation in joining Facebook had nothing to do with competing with anyone over the number of “friends” we have. Instead, I was hoping to rekindle some of those more intimate personal connections that had faded with time. And I cannot hide my disappointment as I realize that this is obviously not going to happen. Because apparently even those who used to be perfectly willing to put in the effort to share more of themselves with me just a few years back, aren’t willing to do so anymore. Is it just the general cultural climate of the world this days? Is superficiality and “attention deficit” behavior the new normal? Does it affect everyone? Am I the outlier, or am I simply not finding the “right” people to engage with?
By the way, the very use of the word “friend” on social media sites is very misleading. If it were up to me, it’d be replaced with “acquaintance”, or “connection”, or something equally noncommittal. “Friend” carries a lot of weight in my personal world. I used to envy some outgoing, extroverted people their ability to make friends with no apparent effort whatsoever, at every turn… until I understood that, according to MY definition of friendship, some of them don’t actually have any friends at all. Not even a single one. And so, there is nothing to envy. What a relief that was. 😉
The flipside, of course, is that those really deep personal relationships take time and effort to develop, and it takes two to tango, and too often it feels like you’re the only one. And if you don’t socialize much, because you can’t bear the small talk and superficiality of most social situations, then your choice of potential new connections can shrink almost down to zero. A blogger acquaintance (;-)) wrote recently that we introverts used to dominate the internet a few years ago, and that it was easier for us to connect through it back then, because there were few extroverts around to “outshine” our appeal, and it was implicitly understood that the very purpose of the internet was to facilitate human interactions between people who suffer from social anxiety and similar issues. And now that EVERYBODY is online, we feel sort of pushed into the corner – much like we do in “real life”. I found this a very insightful observation. And so I decided to talk about it, as a way of reaching out into the digital void. Pointless, perhaps – but I find I’d much rather spend my time doing this than posting random selfies on Facebook or Instagram… so there you go. 😉
Once again, I struggle to express what’s on my mind – because it seems to be in a state of utter chaos. It feels like my brain circuits are overheating. This “personal growth” thing that I have embraced in order to lift myself out of the swamp of emotional negativity in which I spent the first four decades of my life… well, it seems to have a weird side effect of making you feel worse even as you feel better, because it makes you realize how much farther you still have to go before you get to where you CAN get to, and where you never ever thought it could be possible for YOU to get to before you got started on this journey in the first place. Am I making any sense? I seem to have hit some sort of wall, made up of my own inner resistance to the concept of being the creator of your own life experience. I KNOW it’s valid, it makes perfect logical sense, it’s empowering and groundbreaking and generally awesome; and yet, a part of me just feels utterly flattened by the implicit responsibility, and wants to hide under the carpet pretending we’ve never heard of the entire thing. Because it’s so much easier to stay stuck in your old, familiar rut, blaming “fate” or “circumstance” for how much it sucks. And once it REALLY, TRULY dawns on you that you have created said circumstance yourself, and can therefore undo it, the egoic mind FREAKS OUT. It starts running around in circles, screaming: SO WHAT ON EARTH AM I SUPPOSED TO DO NOW??? I’ve been in this sort of “inner freakout” state for the past year or two, if not longer – and I think it’s getting worse. I just CAN’T DEAL anymore. I think the problem is that my level of consciousness has expanded way beyond my ego’s capacity to handle change. In other words, I’ve run so far ahead of myself, I need to either pull back or go insane. Except I don’t think you CAN pull back. The only thing you CAN do is overhaul your entire life, so that your outer reality matches the inner one – and that, quite understandably, scares me to death.
Some famous online transformation coaches tell you to imagine your ideal life, to visualize it, infuse the vision with emotion etc. – so that you embody the energetic frequency of that imaginary reality, and thereby call it into being. Well… I have never actually DONE that. Not because I didn’t think it would work, but because I didn’t DARE. Just asking myself what that ideal life would be causes some massive psychological blockage to come to the surface; as in, Who do you think you are to imagine you CAN have a perfect life? If you could, why would you be living the one you have now? What makes you think you have the courage to do what it takes to get there? And so on, and so forth. The funny thing is, I used to love to fantasize – back when I wasn’t able to recognize any connection between “dreams” and “reality”. Using my vivid imagination to picture beautiful places and experiences was a form of escapism; never for a moment did I believe any of those wonderful things I was imagining could have materialized for me, no matter what I did – and so it felt “safe” to dream about them. Now that I understand the power of our imagination to create our reality – but also the power of our subconscious beliefs to block us – my creative inspiration seems to have run dry. In a way, I shy from the responsibility of envisioning anything; either because it might come true, or because it might not. Or because I might have to DO something in order to bring it to life, rather than just sit back and fantasize forever. I used to say I was a thinker, rather than a doer; which sounds like a convenient excuse for a life of inertia, to be honest. It’s just another story I’ve been telling myself, to justify my lack of initiative in… well, anything. I also used to say: In an ideal world, I would be/do XYZ. Which creates another convenient excuse, because obviously the world will never be ideal. It takes a lot of courage to dare to STRIVE for your ideal life, in a non-ideal world; knowing you might never achieve it, but risking losing the comfort of your old, familiar rut in the process. I was always drawn to the THEORY of spiritual growth; but now I have realized it actually involves some PRACTICE, as in DOING new and different things with yourself and your life… and, well, it seems like I wasn’t expecting that. 😉
To summarize it all in simplest of terms, it feels like I have just crested a tiny hillock and saw the huge mountain looming in the distance – and I used to think that the hillock WAS the mountain. And, quite frankly, today I just want to sit down at the foot of said mountain and cry, because I am so tired. But the one thing I am trying to do differently is to simply acknowledge this feeling, stay with it, instead of trying to distract myself or numb it down. Yes, I am scared, exhausted and overwhelmed. And it’s OK. It will pass. I acknowledge that my egoic desire to be oh-so-evolved has backfired and bitten me in the rear, and it’s not pretty. Because if said desire were purely altruistic, coming from a higher place, I would have nothing to be afraid of. Someone said you can only act either out of love, or out of fear; never both at the same time. The fear is what motivates your ego, and the love is what motivates your soul. I am AWARE of having a Soul that is much greater and wiser than my ego; however, at this point in time I still lack the capacity to make the ego shut up and stop chattering compulsively over what the Soul is trying to say. And that’s OK, too. For now. Instead of beating myself up, I am going to stay with it, and breathe, and let it pass. *breathes*
Someone wisely said – I forget who right now – that as you change, your relationships also change, whether or not the other person has any conscious intention of improving the ways you relate to one another. Sometimes all it takes is one person doing a little bit of work on themselves… and everything shifts. A great case in point – of which I am reminded today, for obvious reasons – would be my relationship with my mother. I still find it hard to believe how deeply it has transformed over the past few years. Of course, I am not the only one who has changed – but I now believe that the main obstacle on the way to its improvement has been my own inner resistance… my own emotional attachment to the idea of being misunderstood and ill-prepared for life as a result of her dubious parenting skills. Ironically, I embraced this judgmental attitude towards her despite claiming that she damaged me so much precisely because of how judgmental she was. Yes, it is true that for many years my self-esteem was in shreds, because she tended to criticize everything about me. However, for some reason I failed to see that being judgmental right back at her only perpetuated this pattern of mutual resentment and separation. I failed to see that in order to forgive her, I needed to be able to forgive MYSELF first. And since I blamed pretty much all my problems on her, I was blind to the concept of my own inner power to change – as well as my own responsibility to do so. And so, in order to see her differently, I had to completely let go of using her as an excuse for all my shortcomings. I had to realize that, at this point in my life, she was only causing harm as far as I was clinging to the idea of having been harmed by her. It may seem like a subtle shift, but “something that happened in the past” is quite different from “a crucial part of my identity”. “A crucial part” being more like “a crutch” in this case. I think, on some level, I was afraid that if let go of that crutch, I would suddenly have to become a strong and capable adult, pretty much overnight, and there would no longer be an excuse for any mistakes I might make. And so, through this attitude, I was doing to myself exactly what I had accused HER of doing: expecting myself to be perfect, infallible, performing life in precise alignment to some preconceived specifications. That was the key: realizing that I was the one doing it, not her, or anyone else. I had entirely taken over the task – sometime in my teens, probably, if not earlier – while still blaming her for the results. And, of course, feeling oh-so-bitter and indignant that she didn’t even seem to know what my problem was.
It wasn’t an overnight shift, obviously. It was subtle and gradual, but it started a few months after I began a consistent meditation practice (with my Holosync tracks). At some point I realized that I COULD, indeed, become a strong and capable adult, and that I no longer needed to lean on that crutch of resentment that was poisoning my relationship with mom. And that as soon as I let go of it, she didn’t seem quite so judgmental anymore. Or that it didn’t bother me so much, even if she was. But mostly she wasn’t, simply because I stopped punishing her in covert and subtle ways, and we could both relax.
We can have a normal conversation now, without all those layers of inner censorship and nervous skirting around sensitive topics. It is no longer such a painful chore to call her up on Mother’s Day. My body no longer tenses up at the sound of her voice, I no longer stiffen and cringe inwardly when she hugs me, I can even spend a few hours in the same room with her and NOT start feeling like I’m about to suffocate. I still remember how indignant I felt a few years ago, when a good friend of mine accused me of “demonizing” my relationship with mom… but that is in fact what I was doing, and the one most harmed by it was myself. It seems so obvious now, I’m almost embarrassed to admit how long it’s taken me to see it. But precisely because it’s taken so long, I feel the need to share those insights, just in case someone benefits from them and is able to speed up the process. 😉
Happy Mother’s Day, everyone! 🙂