Tag: challenges

Best Laid Plans

I had a great Solstice yesterday. Basically, nothing went according to my plans, yet somehow, that’s okay. It’s also unsurprising.

While I did make it out to greet the sun at sunrise, the unseasonably wet and cold weather here in Colorado had me imagining the light through the overcast sky and foggy mountains. I also didn’t lay all of my tools out for charging outside, as thunderstorms were on the forecast and it became obvious they weren’t going to be an inaccurate prediction. I again got creative and chose to charge everything indoors, in front of my “Sun” tapestry.

Stones and crystals charging by “The Sun”

Such is life right? We make plans, we have disruptions or get new information, we adjust. Flexibility is the joy of reality, as long as we’re not resisting.

It wasn’t until later in the day, after a wonderful time at the hot springs for my mom’s birthday, that I realised I wouldn’t be home in time for my sunset ritual and began to feel my control-freakery start rearing its head. I recognized it, I felt it, and then I let it pass. I chose to remain grateful for the time my family all got to experience together and how happy that had made my mom.

Still, I was all to aware as we drove home as the clock ticked ever closer to the time of sunset… Until, all too perfectly, my sister who’s home visiting from living internationally, began a conversation about what had transpired in the last 10 months since she’d been in the states. My youngest sister started, and then I followed, only focusing on the last 8 months since I had visited my sister while in Europe this past fall.

I was deep in review, detailing the focuses and events that had transpired, when I noticed the time again. It was right when I had been wanting to hold ritual. I had to laugh a bit to myself, as I felt the tension of my desire for control slowly unconstrict the back of my neck.

In my recollection of the past 8 months with my sisters, I organically reviewed the past 6 in more detail than I had done for myself. I had the opportunity to truly appreciate the trials and challenges, as well as check-points and accomplishments, and I found myself marveling at my own journey. In this way, I got my ritual – the exact ritual I needed, even if it wasn’t a ritual of my own design.

This is one of my greatest joys as a Pagan, and a lesson I keep getting the opportunity to learn: my purpose isn’t something I need to do, it’s a part of my intrinsic being. In a world where we are constantly asked to justify our existence though, this can be so hard! When you meet someone, they ask “what do you do,” not “how do you choose to be?”

Yet, despite social expectations, and perhaps even in spite of current cultural norms, the universe does give us subtle reminders of our beingness. Through the little things, like noticing numerological patterns or finding ourselves lost in the perfect conversation at just the right time, we get to escape from the pressure of “having it all together” and get to experience the grace of divinity as it carries us through.

I’m so grateful for this reminder. I’m so thankful that my rituals ended up being infused with the inconvenient and uncontrollable flair of reality. I’m also thankful that I get to be the slightly obsessive and thoroughly eccentric ME who can acknowledge and appreciate imperfections as opportunities rather than defeats.

Considerations of Community

At this time in my life, I am astonishingly aware of how blessed I am. Much of this sense comes from my connectedness to valuable and supportive communities. However, this hasn’t always been the case.

A Scared Little Girl

When I was young, I not only felt isolated, I intentionally isolated myself. I remember lying to my friends over the phone when they asked me to come over to play, “I’m grounded, sorry…” I often preferred the comfortable container of my bedroom and a book to the rambunctious laughter other children.

Even in reading though, I would shy away from fiction stories and narratives, feeling much more comfortable with the facts I could find in encyclopedias and other study materials. People confused and scared me. I felt awkward and unable to relate to the dialogues and interactions that seemed to come so naturally to everyone else.

I could argue that it was because of my limited exposure to society via my homeschool education and rural upbringing, but even among my siblings I was notably reserved. I had very little interest in doing things with my brother and sisters, often even setting out on my own if we were all forced to go play outside together. I never felt like I knew how to “people” right.

When I did try to communicate it was dry and stale. I would ramble off facts and logic akin to the types of books I read. There was no real substance, no vulnerability, no personal truth.

Growing Up Impressionable

Over the years my shyness and inhibitions morphed and changed, a tribute to the fact that I somehow always managed to befriend outgoing extroverts who couldn’t be more different from myself. I marveled at their ease of communication, their confidence and humor, and I became content to find myself in their shadows. My uncomfortability with attention peaked at my birthdays and I would often try to avoid having a party all together, having emotional breakdowns if I had somehow allowed myself to attempt participating in these social celebrations of myself.

I wanted to be invisible, unseen and forgotten. At least that’s how I thought I felt at the time. Attention was the enemy of my comfort, because I thought so very little of myself.

I would be an adult already by the time I learned how to assert my presence socially. It wouldn’t be at the internship after high school, or my first attempt at college classes, or even in the variety of odd jobs I took. Though I did become more comfortable expressing myself to smaller groups of my friends and family during these times, it was in simple and shallow ways. Finally finding my voice would first take completely losing control.

The Masks of My Delusions

I met my exhusband at one of the most vulnerable times in my life. As a young adult it was expected of me to have goals for myself, but I was completely uninspired and lost. I had come to doubt the beliefs I had been raised with and subsequently lost sight of all personal direction – I felt that nothing mattered anymore, and that absolutely terrified me.

I had decided that my lack of purpose and fulfillment must actually be a result of my lack of a romantic relationship, despite my having zero interest in pursuing a significant other at all up until that point. Sure, I had little crushes since I was in middle school, but was always outspoken about my belief that “love doesn’t exist, it’s merely lust, infatuation and obsession.” Interestingly, that’s exactly what I manifested in my marriage.

Sure, I loved him, but it was a love tainted by insecurities. I was caught up in the lust, infatuation and obsession that I had so diligently saught to avoid my entire young life.

Having come from my hyper-conservative background, I had swung to the other extreme, choosing the baddest bad boy I had ever met or could have possibly conceived. I was so naive to his world and his ways, I simply let him take the lead – and he lead me down a dark path. I became someone I didn’t even know I had the potential of being. I was his ride-or-die bitch and played the part well.

Manipulating Myself

That relationship, in all its volatility, helped me to once and for all shed the constraints of my father’s oppressive and controlling influence, but only in the sense that I had shackled myself instead to my ex’s delusions. I had gotten good at pretending. I had become an expert at being who I thought others wanted me to be, blending more and more easily into social situations or different kinds – but, I still had no real autonomy or self respect.

As horrible and demoralizing as things got, my ex was still the one who had to end things between us. I didn’t have the strength to stand up for myself. I didn’t have the nerve to try and be myself in the world apart from the labels and expectations of others.

I continued to mold myself according to what I was exposed to, turning to an extremely unhealthy friendship to create my identity as a divorcee. We dabbled in financial domination and played parts as sugar babies to manipulate men. Eventually our involvement turned into an even more unhealthy polyamorous relationship, but because of my lack of personal awareness, I was blind to the disparity of it all.

Reaching Rock Bottom

It wasn’t until that relationship ended and I finally saw my patterns of codependence, that I made a personal commitment to authenticity and began my journey back to myself. It hurt. I had to face the truth of all of my lies and manipulations, all the ways I had allowed myself to become a part of things that inherently diminished my spirit and tarnished my soul. It hurt, so deeply, and yet healed me completely.

That decision was made just 3 years ago. There I crumbled, with none of my delusions and distractions to comfort me any longer. I was stripped bare and made to take a long, hard look into my life and the whos I had allowed myself to become.

It was in that same moment that I began to recognize and reveal my truth. It started with the shame, the self-loathing and the pain. It started with the acceptance of exactly where I was in that moment, and all of my ugliness – but it began a cascading reaction throughout my entire life and eventually lead to where I am now, enraptured by my inherent beingness.

Learning the Meaning of Love

In these incredibly short but astonishingly full 3 years, I have learned how to forgive and love myself. This has in turn allowed me to truly love and forgive others. Ultimately opening the doors for a wellspring of true community and a sense of belonging I had never dreamed possible.

In rediscovering myself I remembered my magick, reunited with my twin flame and stepped organically into a small and humble, yet remarkably powerful coven of women who embrace their primal truths fully and gratefully. I found my local tribe of healers and gurus at my local yoga studio/healing center, where I began diving into the pursuit of my own healing and began discovering my love and skill for these practices. Then finally, just last year, I connected with my global tribe of world changers and master manifesters through my first Apotheosis retreat and set off the beginning of incredible friendships, mentorships and collaborations with people throughout the High Existence community.

Here, alone on my grandma’s couch; now, writing about my loneliness and struggles with identity; I feel incredibly loved, valued and connected by so many souls far and wide – and by my own precious soul as well. There is no where I could go that would cause me to feel separation and isolation ever again. Yes, because I have the love and respect of so many remarkable and inspiring people, but also because I have the love and respect of myself.

Opening to True Community

Community starts with ourselves. The way we treat ourselves, think about ourselves and limit ourselves inevitably effects our entire world and all the people in it. Creating healthy, thriving communities starts with focusing on our own health and wellbeing. Who we believe ourselves to be directly correlates to the communities we allow ourselves to be a part of.

I am so grateful I was able to make that commitment to authenticity just 3 years ago, and I am so incredibly inspired by the enormous changes that have taken place in my life since. I have better relationships with my family now and even my oldest friends; I no longer feel the need to guard myself from others or guard them from myself. By embracing my truth and becoming vulnerable with my own soul, I have in turn welcomed this high-level of authenticity and love into all relationships and every community I am blessed to be a part of.

That my beloveds, is real magick. We all have it – may you embrace yours as well. Blessed be.