A couple months ago I woke up and started preparing myself to go to an industry daytime event at a local bar to go party with friends and colleagues. A much needed release from the craziness of being a server during the holidays. I was excited but had a sense that there was some further consideration that I needed, self-care...something more than the all too familiar, "Oh I won't drink too much this time...I can totally have self-control" HA! Riiiiiiiight ;)
I knew I needed a plan, more proactivity. There was something rising to the surface, brewing and ready to be birthed. I could feel myself opening up to a new idea and THEN...it happened! The idea came in the form of doing readings at the bar. Whaaaaa??? Where did this idea come from? Instantly I was afraid. "No, I can't do that" I said.
"Just bring your tarot cards and see what happens", the idea said.
"I'm not a tarot card reader", I said.
"Just fucking do it", it said.
"OK. Fine." I said.
Ideas are sometimes bossy.
Please keep in mind I feel very qualified to give readings in a professional setting and with plenty of time to delve deep into the unconscious mind. The sessions I provide in my office typically take up to two hours. I do not fear the unfolding of the psyche. I love it! I could spend all day in the unfolding. But in a bar? Could I do that? Answer: why the eff not!
What transpired blew my mind and heart wide open. I set up at a booth and opened myself to do readings and people sat down...to like get readings...from me! I didn't know if it would work or what it would look like even. The first time doing anything is a bit scary but its a good fear, right? I knew as long as I stayed in channel, I would be in alignment with the insight that people are yearning for and seeking. You know what? It worked.
What is channel you say? Being in channel or being a medium is something that we are all capable of when we are allowing ourselves to be in the moment and is especially powerful when connecting to the heart of another person. It's an opening up to higher consciousness and a willingness to trust whatever inspiration/information comes through. Seven years ago I became a certified psychic medium through my training at Delphi University, a spiritual/metaphysical school in Georgia. Yes, I went to wizard school :) I call it psychic camp to be cheeky but the school offers a wide range of legitness. At the end of the course I had tools that made me feel more confident in my inherent abilities but they also scared the crap out of me. I wasn't ready to take on what felt like a responsibility. I just wanted to party and play in bands and maybe like dabble in witchery and esoteric mystery when it was convenient for me...like a party trick or something I could pull out to sound cool.
At the end of training,( they don't tell you this when you sign up) you actually give readings to strangers. Going from doing readings and seances and weird cool astral shit with your cohort to working with people in the community is a shock to the system and leads to self-doubt and loads of heart racing which borders utter excitement and a crippling fear that you may ruin someones life. Here's how my first two readings went:
Big tough guy, dark eyes, scorpion tattoo on his neck, hunching over in the chair and looks at me saying, "I've been having some evil thoughts and I'm thinking about doing some evil things."
Yeah. I should also mention that its Friday the 13th, there is a horrendous storm outside and the lights go out. Luckily, there were candles lit and I knew there were others near by that would hear my screams. The point is, I did what I was taught to do. I connected to his heart and stayed focused on his innocence, the part of him that is wanting a new experience and is yearning for love. I watched this burly character turn into a gentle child with kind eyes and hope for his future. We hugged and I felt relieved. Not only had I not been murdered but I had successfully given my first psychic reading. WOW! I felt high on life in a major way. I was excited for another.
This southern bell couldn't have been more opposite. Her perfectly flipped blond hair and the way she sat with her purse on her lap, hands gripping it tightly while she tried to look not afraid of me. I got a very strong image of water. I asked, "Do you love the water?" Rookie move. She said, "No. I hate the water." Oh shit. I suck at this...spiral...decent and then remembering....it's not about me or my ego. Connection to the heart of this woman and what she is yearning for. Create space for her higher consciousness...stay in channel. Theeeeeeeen, it came out that her child had drowned in a river. Theeeeennnnnnn, the spirit of her child entered the room. AHHHHHHHHH!!!! I had an out of body experience in which I was looking down on myself in this like, what the eff, this is your life now? Freak out. But, once again, I remembered my training and I refocused and stayed in channel. Her child had a lot of beautiful things to say and she received much needed healing and release of pain she was holding on to. It was profound, to say the least.
You should also know that I have had a life long fear of ghosts and always assumed if I saw one I would crap my pants, my hair would turn white and or I would just go crazy. Like drooling, mumbling to myself, lock me up in a padded room crazy. What I've come to understand is my fear is also connected to a strong part of me that likes believing in everything and nothing at the same time. If I were to see a ghost then I would have to believe in the spirit world right? It's just really hard for me to wrap my brain around that. I often feel like a bad "spiritual person" and like there is some sort of koolaid that I just haven't drank yet. I've had plenty of experiences to "prove" mystery and other realm stuff but I'm just not convinced nor do I pretend to understand. I digress. I recognize how I shut down the psychic part of myself. I turned it off....like a big, uh...no thanks...I'm good. I got enough this realm probs...don't need to worry about other realm shtuff. I'm good. She backs away slowly.
I can sense that I have untapped potential/powers due to fears and the more steps I take to unveiling fears to myself i.e. putting myself in challenging situations, seeking opportunity for growth, the less the fear controls me and the more open I become to things I was once closed to. That is why I went to psychic camp in the first place and why I chose to start doing readings in bars. Queue motivational music, she speaks with gusto into the headset mic and says, "You too can live your Dream Reality™!" Ha, kidding...kind of. But seriously, I have a pretty dazzling coordinating hand gesture to really drive that line home ;)
I don't claim to understand how this all works or what it all means man...trying to understand it is what keeps me from delving into it deeper...if that makes any sense. The more I surrender to the not knowing and embrace my own doubts, the more I can be a conduit. I like that. I have recently been asked to lead a class on mediumship and I instantly shot the idea down. Fear. Fear of what? For coming out as a psychic medium? Will people judge me? Blah blah blah all the ego stuff that keeps me from fully trusting myself and taking action.
One of the loudest voices I am learning to love within my psyche is the, "Who the hell do you think you are? You?! Ha, a therapist?! A medium?! HA! A blogger?! Right bro. Thats funny." You know the one. Damn, that voice is really afraid of trying new things. It keeps us small and it has a whole catalog of possible outcomes and they are all bad! This voice is a valuable part of yourself and it is afraid. We are the only ones that can give ourselves the gift of freedom. We can make choices! So, let's transmute our inner voices and lets help each other while were at it. Lets dare to share the things we want to try, to learn and explore with an openness and support for one another. Let's love the voice that tells us we can't, that we will fail, look stupid, loose everything and let it throw its little fit if it must... and then cuddle that baby and tell it its ok to be afraid...to doubt. Love that part of yourself vs shaming and spiraling with it. Teach it how to be daring. Teach it how to be ok with uncomfortable feelings. Teach it how to thrive in the unknowing, the doubt. Fear is how we know we are hot on the trail of transformation. The little charge we get when we are afraid is valuable information as to where loving energy is needed. Follow your fear vortex with consciousness and a deep desire to understand yourself. There is a sea of possibilities within you just waiting to be uncorked. Lets explode together. Stardust in our eyes and endless love in our hearts. We got this. We have each other.
Now I have more Heal That Shit Babe™ events unfolding and am developing a mediumship class and shit, I even have an apprentice now! All because I chose to enter the vortex of fear and trust it will lead me somewhere more expansive than I can ever imagine. I'm ready. Well, maybe not totally but I don't have to be right now. All I have to be is open to move through fear. Thank you for being there to hold my hand when I don't believe I am brave, to welcome me and tell me I am great. I am here for you to do the same. I love us.
Yeesh, with all this pressure to have our shit together all the time its no wonder we have warped vulnerability into being something of a weakness....to be accessed only in the worst case scenario, avoided and a last resort. When did needing help become a source of shame? When did having feelings make us intense and too much to handle? What if feelings are a wonderful source of information to allow deeper insight into ourselves and allow connectivity with others? Furthermore, the communication of this information encourages others to meet us where we actually are, in that moment...and maybe, just maybe provide us with the love we really need.
*note: I do not claim to be an expert in communication or relationships. I am a person...trying to figure it all out man...so back off. I mean, come closer. I need your help. Just don't judge me and let's try it, together. Sound good? Good.
"I'm feeling scared and alone and am hoping you can be kind to me."
"That hurt my feelings and I would like to talk about it to understand where you are coming from."
"My mind is cycling negative thoughts and I would appreciate you helping me find clarity."
"My feelings are really intense right now and we should revisit this when I am more calm."
"I see my part in your difficulty and I am sorry I caused you pain. Let's use this as an opportunity to understand each other so we can continue to communicate more effectively."
Whoa. Radical right? But who the hell talks like that?! Wouldn't it be so awesome?! A girl can dream ;)
Radical honesty and vulnerability are actually super powers and aid in allowing ourselves to get some pretty basic core needs met. You know, like love, understanding and a sense of belonging and connection. With mindfulness and radical self-acceptance we can transmute our triggers to become our allies in letting us know where the healing is needed and how to better communicate our actual needs.
So, what is stopping us from being real about our feelings? Sometimes we get so caught up in the feelings that we don't even allow ourselves to be real with ourselves as to why we are actually upset in the first place. For example, I was neglected as a child. My parents were alcoholics and drug addicts. They said they were going to do things and then, well...they didn't. I don't blame them, I love them very much but them are the facts. I have come a long way in my healing and it was recently that I was able to put together why I am so hurt when people blow me off, make me wait around and or say they are going to do things and well, don't. Not ideal behavior from others, but you know, shit happens. I'm a reasonable person so it started to become apparent that there was something more to my upset. Do I really need to let down the iron gate, pull up the drawbridge, fill the mote and release the dragon just because someone is late? Damn, it was so much easier when I got to feel justified in my disappointment and blame others for my frustrations. When allowing myself to get so upset, I fed the story that people will always disappoint me , I can't count on anyone, I am alone and have to do everything myself...and so on. At one point, as a child, I needed those thoughts to survive, to protect myself. As an adult, it is my job to know when I am projecting and learn to ask for what I really need. Revolution.
Accepting myself and my hair trigger reactions (vs denial and blame) allowed me to ask if maybe I was being too sensitive and limited in my beliefs...and ask myself why? What is the information my hurt feelings are providing? What is my subconscious mind trying to tell me? Soooooo, recently, when I was faced with opportunities ( withholding love from a late friend and blowing up with anger after having been blown off by a date) I went within and asked myself what this tendency is all about? I validated my feelings and created space for information to surface. My wounded inner child came forth and she had some shit to say.
Looking into my eyes in the mirror, (doesn't have to be in the mirror but I'm creepy like that) it went something like this:
Caring Adult (me, the one who has learned to love and be free from past hurt):
"I care about this pain. I want to know what is needed to be free."
Wounded Inner Child (also me but traumatized and suffering me that lives within my psyche creating chaos until I finally listen and give her the love she needs to heal):
"Don't abandon me."
CA: "I'm so sorry that I did. I am here now. How can I make you feel safe?"
WIC: "Show me love."
CA: "I love you so much. I am here."
It's really really important to take caring action that will show your inner child that you do in fact care about their healing. I decided to read some self-help crap (just being cheeky but serious Tara Brach is a goddess) and relax in bed. This made me feel so much better. My thoughts became less anxious and I was able to create a new pathway for experience. Wounded inner child work for the win!
Just this small gesture was enough for me to reclaim a part of myself. The truth of who I really am...which I choose to believe is a person who has the ability to create a new reality for myself. When I am projecting onto others the disappointments I felt from my parents, not only am I keeping myself in a state of hurt which causes me to push play on the tape player of all my worst thoughts about humanity, it also signals the release of the all too familiar playlist of how it all probably means that I am unlovable and not worthy of having people in my life that I can rely on. This cycle causes my inner child to feel abandoned. Intense right? We all do this on different levels and in different contexts...its subtle and unconscious you see. Now, knowing this tendency within myself, I can choose to be transparent and share my struggles. Instead of shaming others, attacking and treating them poorly, I can give them the information as to why it is hard for me and let them know that I am working on being more understanding and forgiving.
Sure, there will still be times in which I just get pissed off, I've been this way for a long time but when I am in a place of transformation, I can take my finger off the trigger and give myself the love and care I need. This will allow me to be patient with others and I can be kind even if my initial feeling is to grab the drawbridge. I'm not suggesting accepting repeated disrespectful behavior from others and taking all the responsibility. Discernment is paramount in understanding what is ours and what is others areas of growth. I am advocating honesty, self-acceptance, vulnerability and talking about why we are upset by someones behavior, when it is actually happening.
If you are like me you often devalue your own feelings and tell yourself you shouldn't be as upset as you really are. It's not that big of a deal, we say to ourselves,...or we let other people tell us that our feelings aren't valid. Just relax they say, don't think so much they say. It wells up and becomes worse, ack! Feelings don't just go away the more we push them down. We are not trash compactors with built in incinerators. We need to talk about our feelings. It's not so scary. They are just feelings and feelings are more importantly, information that can lead us to empowerment and self-love.
There is one more aspect of this process I should mention. Sometimes, even when you do have all the right beautiful words and our intention is clear and you just splayed your heart out on a silver platter and handed it to someone...they, uh...well, may not be in a place to receive it. Do not fret my friend. YOU GOT THIS! You can still Heal That Shit Babe™ (more on this later) because you are the only one who can give you what you truly need anyway. The healthy and supportive folks in your life will be there with open hands, hold fast to these treasures, true loves are gold. But, if people in your life aren't able to hear your truth and listen to what you are deeply yearning for then you need to reevaluate if they are healthy to be connected to and alter your boundaries accordingly.
We can still be kind when feeling a persons lack of emotional availability/openness. There lack is again, important information that allows us to be clear on what we can ask of others. We don't have to explode and shame the other...what if instead we told them that we are sad and disappointed because we thought we could count on them and our feelings are hurt. Furthermore, when we stand in our truth, we allow others to be radically honest and share their feelings. We may even come to realize that perhaps we were asking too much of someone. Again, there is no need to keep putting yourself in situations in which your energy and love is not being reciprocated. Our understanding of everyones unique levels of development is a much needed consideration. Do the inner child work and truly connect with yourself, find compassion for those who can't and wish them well on their healing journey. In doing this soul work, we become more mindful of our feelings, there root cause and how to trust effective communication...and part of that trust is knowing that the other may not react the way we want but that we are going to be ok because we can give ourselves the love we need. Radical self-acceptance for the win!
May we all be brave enough to slide on to the slip n slide of consciousness. I welcome you, slip on into my heart baby. Its a garden that needs some tending...but perhaps you can help me pull some of these weeds? Let's lighten the load we all carry and open up to our true feelings. It's fun!!! We really need each other and thats a beautiful thing.