When we learn how to truly be present with our own joy and our own sorrow, with our longing and our desires, layer upon layer of ourselves can be powerfully unraveled and revealed. We cannot possibly know in advance what this revelation may look like, how it may unfold or what actions it could inspire or compel within us. Over the years I have watched clients and participants in individual sessions, retreats, and workshops, sit in those moments of vulnerability – intimate moments within their own desires, pain, suffering, and doubts. They observe a possibility of “change” in the air and they either turn towards it and lean into it, or they turn away, shut down, and quickly lean out. Perhaps the very thing that they came seeking was a deeper connection with Self and Spirit, yet their fears of the unknown caused many to want to run away from the experience. During my 10 Day Vipassana course, I too experienced moments of wanting to run away. It was a classic case of an old “fight or flight” coping mechanism. I’m so very grateful that I had the wherewithal to sit still and BE with the thoughts, feelings, and emotions, rather than act on them and flee.
I’ve grown to understand that if we have based large parts of our lives on untruths, we have the capacity to self-sabotage when Truth is presented or stirred within us. You see, when we become aware of those experiences that are no longer in alignment with the truth of who we are, it doesn’t matter how well intended the messenger may be, or how unconscious the participant may be at the moment. The potential transformation that this intimacy invokes can look and feel very frightening to some people. I recall the moments leading up to my move to Atlanta. I had spent 5 years in South Alabama and found it to be a very special place. Now, all of the sudden, I had decided to leave everything and everyone I had grown to know and love and allow a vision and inner nudge to pull me to Georgia. At the time I had no way of knowing what would transpire for me but I could feel something unfolding that was “necessary and required” for my path. I truly do not recognize the person I am today. I landed in a place that has supported me greatly and I continue to magnetize people into my life that help me tune into myself in order to answer those mystical, magical, and sometimes confusing questions, including the ones I haven’t been consciously aware of having.
People often ask me questions like, “Can you give me a roadmap for transformation?” or “Can you give me steps 1-6 so that there are no surprises along the way?” or “Can you just tell me what to do and I’ll do it?” When one embarks on the intentional path of transformation, there’s no way for me (or anyone else) to tell them in advance which aspects of their carefully constructed sense of self, if any, will survive. They may choose the path of resistance and begin to view things from a state of polarity, labeling experiences or insights as good news or bad news, positive or negative, heavy or liberating. What I can say is if you choose to take the awakening journey with your whole heart, your open heart, from a beginner’s mindset, real change is not only possible, it is inevitable. It’s from this vantage point that all things are completely unpredictable and at the same time filled with infinite possibility.
I cannot, nor will I promise myself or anyone else our journey will always be easy. It’s impossible to promise such as that. But what I do know is that when we open ourselves to living intimately and vulnerably, choosing to connect with the places of misery or confusion within ourselves or others, we can cultivate the ability to be completely present and experience tremendous peace, joy, and bliss along the way!
Today, I choose to be fearless and free. Self-realization is the key to my freedom. It’s not about becoming a new person, but about being the person I was meant to be, and already am. Sometimes I feel like I don’t know how to be that person and that’s ok too! Any inner battle that I may be going through is not fueled by the words or actions of others; it is fueled by the mind that gives it importance – my mind! When I can connect with the silence within me, that is when I can make sense of the disturbance going on around me, I am then free to determine the course of my life. I let go of any influence or patterning that tries to limit my freedom. I am who I am; no more, no less. I allow others to be free, just as I am free. ~ And so it is!