My biggest intention for this time was to spend the time really loving myself - making sure that everything that I thought and did was an extension of this love for myself. I was going to do a Master Cleanse (for the whole 10 days), exercise every day, spend hours in deep meditation/contemplation in order to gain clarity for my ongoing questions, etc. I didn't have to go anywhere or do anything except take care of me in the most loving way possible! My plans began to derail themselves the minute I dropped off my dad and Mo at the airport and headed to Trader Joe's to get the ingredients for my Master Cleanse. I knew that Trader Joe's carried the maple syrup that I needed, but I also knew that Trader Joe's is like a liquor store to an alcoholic for me - just too many temptations to just pick up lemons, maple syrup and cayenne pepper! The maple syrup that they had was sooo expensive, and I knew that Costco also carried one that I could use, so I just picked up a "few" things for after my cleanse - mostly healthy but far more food than I needed if I was going to be doing nothing but a cleanse for 10 days! Then of course Costco didn't have the maple syrup - but did have some other things that went home with me - or Safeway, QVC, Fred Myers, or any of the other grocery stores I visited in search of the maple syrup! AND at each store I found enough "after cleanse" stuff that by the time I finally made my way back to my dad's house, I had enough food to feed 3 of us for a month! So much for the cleanse! I justified it in my head that at least the majority of the food was healthy and that I could just do the cleanse when I got home! That was where the descent into disappointment and resentment began - not consciously, but very subtly.
My first full day alone, which was actually day 2 of the 10, began with some contemplation and journaling, yoga and stretching, eating well, etc. No TV, no computer, no phones - just me, myself and I. I felt as if I'd stepped out of the earthly realm and into heaven (see pic above) and felt nothing but peace and stillness and gratitude and joy. My gratitude meter had not reached such heights in a very long time and I just basked completely in that space - my plan was working out wondrously! As day three began to unfold, I found myself questioning my worthiness to not only be enjoying this space all to myself, but to just be having such a glorious experience (you know, while the rest of the world is suffering?). As my practice of loving what arises kicked in, I began telling that worthiness part of myself that I loved it, thinking that this should "take care" of things. This is where the subtly comes in. I just assumed that since I told that part of myself that I loved it that everything would be just "fine" - whatever that means - and I could just move on with my day, only to watch unworthiness expand its hold on the rest of my day and for several days after that! I found myself saying "I love you" to all of the parts of myself that kept showing up to derail the bliss that I'd experienced the first day, only to actually spiral deeper into my muck! It happened so quickly and so subtly that by day 7 I was doing anything but loving things for myself! My self destructive, self sabotaging, self degradating parts reared their vicious heads and completely took over - no matter how much I tried to tell them that I loved them! Where was the love? At every level of my being I believe that love heals everything - so where the hell was the love?! Why wasn't this working? What the hell happened?
One of the biggest downfalls of solitary contemplation can be that we can't see the forest for the trees! Even though I had the most incredible reflection of nature before me, I just couldn't connect the dots to see myself as that same beautiful creation of the Divine - after all, not only was I not following any of my "plan" I was spiralling out of control. As a die hard "I can do it myself" and "I have all the tools to figure this out" spiritual seeker, I reminded myself of what I tell my clients - "God didn't put us here by ourselves, we are here to love and support one another!" I loved myself enough to reach out to my angel (thank you Karen!) for support and thank God I did! She's pulled me out of the fire before and this time was no different! Once I got my head out of my ass, or my ego out of the driver's seat, I was able to see things in a VERY different way. From that point on, my experience took on a whole different meaning and the cascading of ah ha's, realizations and revelations has been ongoing and illuminating.
So what made the difference? What allowed me to shift gears? It certainly wasn't just one thing, and the elements are too numerous to share all of them, but I want to share the highlights. First and foremost, my angel reminded me of the truth of who I am - this is what we are all here to do for one another, so if you don't have that angel in your life, get one (and I would be honored to be that angel for you!). Second, the ego is a necessary part of this human experience and is not to be obliterated or pushed aside - or told that it is loved simply as a way to push it aside or put it in its place. We have so many aspects (many mansions) to this human experience and until the shadow is honored and respected it won't buy into the whole "I love you" spiel. I was beating myself for not being able to get this "I love you" thing to work, which just kept me spiraling even more! I now have tremendous respect for my shadow and how hard it has to work to get my attention! And now rather than my "I love you" (now go away) routine making things worse, I have a very humbled respect for that aspect of myself that is just looking for love and acceptance - for it is just God in disguise! Once I started honoring and respecting its power in my life, I felt it loosen its grip - after all, it's looking for us to give it what we are always seeking to get from others (love, respect, acceptance, etc). Third, watch out for those expectations and attachments, which often go hand in hand and create the most suffering. It's ok to have expectancy or expectations as long as you aren't attached to their outcomes. In other words, hold them lightly, be open to other ways, and go with the flow. It is "thy will be done thru me" not "my will be done thru me!" Rather than trying to figure out what I want, my inquiry is now what does God want to experience as me? How can I give God a better experience of me?
There are so many attitudes and perspectives that have shifted because of this experience - way too many for this newsletter! Maybe it's now time to write that book that my husband has been encouraging me to write! Thank you for joining me on this amazing human journey and I hope that you will join me at one or all of my coming events!
Deeply humbled and filled with immense gratitude,