Have you ever wished you could push the reset button and start your life over? You might want to be careful what you wish for…
I’ve always viewed those holier than thou gurus with their tales of homelessness and resurrection with a certain amount of disdain. How could losing everything be good? In fact their stories have given me nightmares and kept me awake imagining the worst that could happen to me!
For years I’ve felt stuck and have longed for a big change, but my fear and responsibilities kept me firmly planted in my comfort zone. Turns out your comfort zone is a dangerous place to be. A few days ago, for the third time in my adult life, my world ended. My worst fears came true. My gut had been warning me for over a year, but I had checked the paperwork over and over and everything seemed fine, so I told myself I was just being paranoid.
Reminder to Self: My gut is NEVER wrong.
That feeling of impending doom, courtesy of my intuition, had been flowing like an underground stream through my mind and body for much longer than I care to admit. I tried everything I could to quiet it. I breathed. I meditated. I journaled. I walked. I channeled. I studied. I tried every exercise I could find. I worked. I helped other people with their own demons. And the effort of quieting that fear was physically, emotionally and spiritually exhausting.
The day before the bomb hit, I was feeling intensely agitated. My body was a bundle of nerves and tension, so I forced myself to drive to the woods for a walk, something that never failed to make me feel better. And although it felt a bit better than sitting on my sofa, it wasn’t doing the usual trick.
I walked my favourite paths in search of a big tree, looking for a spot where I would be undisturbed by dog walkers, who always seem to feel it’s their right and duty to share their opinions with me. They considered it bad enough that I was walking there without a dog. I really couldn’t deal with the comments I would get if one of them saw me hugging a tree!
It was Sunday afternoon, so the woods were crowded, but I managed to find a good tree in a secluded spot. Knowing I didn’t have much time, I laid my hands on the tree’s rough bark and closed my eyes. Grounding my energy to steady myself, I connected with the tree and asked for help. As the tree began to search for answers, I watched the energy traveling through the mycelial highways. And then one image burst through. It was so powerful, that it sent a shock wave right through me. It took my breath away and almost knocked me off my feet!. A ring of fire on a black background. I felt an inner knowing that I was about to go through a something really difficult.
“And it burns, burns, burns…” Johnny Cash
It was almost sundown, so I rushed back to my car and drove home. The image had shaken me to my core. What did it mean? I was pretty sure I knew, but I was afraid of being right. I needed to consult the oracle. I typed “ring of fire spiritual meaning” into the search bar and pressed enter.
“If you take Enlightenment seriously, you will hit a crisis. A crisis is something you do not think you can get through. You bring on a crisis by going into a barrier you do not think you will get through. I have seen some people physically shake for two days at an Intensive, stuck in a crisis. It may sound a bit excessive, but after all they were hot on the trail of something very important to them, and they were stuck in the middle of it. We call it The Ring-of-fire, or being in The Belly of the Beast, because that is how it feels when you’re in it. It is kind of a birth canal and you are in the process of passing through it, and it never seems to end. You know intellectually that you will become a different person on the other side, if and when you can ever get through this barrier.”
Well that hit the nail right on the head! There was no denying it. Still I kept hoping that my gut was wrong, that the trees and the mushrooms were wrong, that my vision was just a figment of my overactive and stressed out imagination.
The thing about acting like an ostrich with your head in the sand (and yes I know this is a myth, but for the sake of argument) is that not only can you not see what’s coming, you feel like you can’t breathe. I spent the night in this hellish limbo, trying not to imagine the worst and failing miserably.
Early the next morning I meditated, I did yoga, I walked, I breathed, I wrote, I double checked the paperwork… Everything seemed to point in the direction of everything being fine, and yet I couldn’t stop trembling. Once it was a decent hour to text people, I checked with he who shall not be named and I got the answer I had been secretly dreading for over a year.
Still, I didn’t want to believe what instinct had been telling me was true all along. I called an expert. It was true… I felt the ground beneath me disappear. There was so much cortisol and adrenaline flowing through my body, that I was shaking like a dog in a thunderstorm.
“We’ve all gotta duck, when the shit hits the fan.” Circle Jerks
Unwilling to give up my ostrich stance, I pulled another tool out of my bag of tricks and focused on something I thought I could control: (busy)work. The stress may have impaired my ability to creatively solve my current problem, but somehow it did give me the focus to put together a whole new homepage on my website (I had already designed it), turn an article I wrote into blog and rewrite an older blog. There’s something so soothing about editing, choosing text colors and laying things out…
Everything feels scarier when you feel completely isolated and unsupported. I needed to tell someone who cared. First one, then another, and then another. Everyone of them told me they loved me, told me not to worry, and thought of concrete ways to help me through the crisis I was facing. And with each call, I felt a little better, and by that evening, I had stopped shaking.
“It’s the end of the world as we know it, but I feel fine.” R.E.M.
By the next morning, the storm inside me had completely subsided. I felt reborn. Everything felt still, quiet, peaceful, and new. Not for the first time, I’d experienced my own holistic life reset. I went for my morning walk, which always helps me to think and work things out, and I came to a huge realisation. I had been playing around with manifesting a couple of things for a few days, before everything went south, and I had actually received them. Not only had I received them – it was well above and beyond what I had asked for! And it could not have happened if I had not lost the safety net I had been clinging to so tightly. In this new frame of mind, I started to realise that even more desires had manifested for me.
God, Source, the Universe, whatever you want to call the creative energy that connects us all, had not forsaken me. I was not being punished. I had not done everything wrong. Once I was able to calm down and see below the surface of things, what had initially seemed devastating, and even life threatening, had actually been a manifestation of my deepest desires.
I felt a huge sense of freedom. A knowing that what I thought had kept me safe all of these years had actually tied me up, held me down, and blocked me. I breathed more deeply than I had in years and I felt 50 pounds lighter. Was that a smile on my face? Was that joy I was feeling? That’s how fast your emotional pendulum can swing. The catastrophic event had not changed. It’s just a matter of perspective.
“The most important decision we make is whether we believe we live in a friendly or hostile universe.”
As I navigate my new situation, I feel more empowered than I ever have. Quite the opposite of the terrified little girl I was only a few days ago. This morning a bird flew right in front of me and landed on a nearby tree. I had never seen a bird like that before and it seemed oddly out of place in a tiny park in the city. Could it be a sign? Once again I consulted the oracle. It was a European Green Woodpecker.
“…the symbolism of the woodpecker is associated with wishes, luck, prosperity, and spiritual healing. Other cultures consider the woodpecker to represent hard work, perseverance, strength, and determination.”
Those all sound good to me! As I’ve slowly begun to confide in more of the people who care about me, even more options have become available. And I know that everything is going to be alright. Even better than alright. And definitely better than they have been for many years.
“Help is just around the corner” Coldplay
If you are feeling high levels of stress and anxiety and it’s draining you of energy and joy, I can help. Together we can find the root cause, the cure and the silver lining. It could be past trauma making you reactive, it could be your lifestyle, you could be picking up stress energy from other people and your environment, it could be your spidey sense trying to warn you of impending doom, or maybe the actual shit has already hit the fan!
Whatever it is, you don’t have to go through it alone. There are hundreds of tools and options, I’ve tried them all and I’m just a ZOOM call away.