Holy Hell. It has been a week y'all, lemme tell ya. I left my first official session feeling so light and buoyant, excited and exuberant about life and what was sure to be coming my way. I had made my declarations to the Universe- to make $1200 a week as a fabulous nanny for a wonderful family who goes on lots of adventures and has a lot creative energy left over to put into her writing- and therefor, I was certain to receive...
Just as I discovered in my first session with Rachael that, perhaps, I had been walking in the wrong direction -tethered to a tree- and trying to set myself free to move ahead, this week I began to wonder whether there is any sense in looking for the proper ‘direction’ to be heading at all.
To me, when I think of ‘direction’, I tend to think in a linear sense. Forward and backward, side to side, diagonal etc. And while I have often been reminded that life is indeed NOT linear, and that our own personal Universe exists more as a sphere than a straight line, it is also very easy for me to forget these things as I move through my human experience and day to day life.
As a spiritual being, I understand that the Universe is infinite and all around me and all of us, within and without.
As a human being, I tend to forget about this idea, and perceive life and my path as a straight line. (Even when it is not straight, it is still a line.)
As a culture, we speak of ‘following a path’ or ‘making a new path’ or any other number of conjectures about some kind of grand path that we are to be walking.
So when someone tells you that you have been going the wrong direction, or when you figure this out for yourself, the next step is often to decide that you must simply ‘change directions’ and go another way. Generally, this is where the awesome shit lives, and where greatness and true courage collide in perfect alchemy.
What if changing directions is more than a simple ‘about face’? Aren't there other directions? Directions of a more spherical nature? Up and down? In and Out? Under and Over? Through the middle? As the song states: “OVER the river and THROUGH the woods…to grandmother’s house we go…” it wouldn't exactly have the same ring if the lyrics were “straight through the stoplight and take a left…to granny’s house down the block…”. Life is not left and right. Life is not black and white. It is a roller coaster. It is all the shades of all the colors, and it is all over the damn place.
Shortly after last week’s session, as my roller coaster was ascending the track that was certain to plunge me into my future, I started to get scared. Really REALLY scared. Like the kid who tries to unbuckle and crawl-out-of-her-seat scared. I could feel myself expanding, and instead of taking a deep breath and holding space for the impending wonder and delicious surprises that lie on the journey ahead, I unbuckled and started crawling backwards. I crawled over all of the hopes and dreams and fears and wishes that I have been dragging behind me, and tried to smash myself into the last car -somewhere between my certainty that I was never going to amount to anything more than paid help, and my desire to throw everything out the window and move back in with my parents. I had climbed out and was now forced to hang on the back end of the train and white-knuckle for dear life so as not to be flung off and actually fall to my death. New potential was looming, and I wanted familiarity. Change was on the horizon, and I wanted certainty. I was not ready to dive into the unknown, but the big green button had already been pushed and everything was in motion… so I abandoned the cars all together. I clung to the tracks and watched as by body came unhinged; I was attempting to hold still while the rest of my life was moving forward.
In my heart I knew it was safe to take this ride.
But in reality, I was pissing my pants at the thought of plummeting to my death.
I tried to cling. I tried to climb off. I even tried to stand on the tracks in front of the coaster and slow it down-a la Superman using his superhero strength to stop the speeding train car from lunging off the cliff and sending hundreds to their death- but I couldn’t.
I couldn't stop it.
The ride, the fear, any of it.
I was scared that admitting what I wanted made me more vulnerable to not getting it.
I found myself having thoughts -not just ‘what if’s- but REAL thoughts about what might happen to me if I couldn’t pay rent. If I couldn’t feed myself. If every single door slammed in my face, no one would hire me or even help me, and I wound up alone on a dirt floor with nothing but the clothes on my back. (I guess the upside in that scenario is that I still had clothes). What if I became just like every other homeless person I’ve seen sleeping on the streets of New York? They are all people. They all have a path. It happened to them…what makes me so bulletproof? What if I become invisible? What if no one will help me, and I lose the capacity to help myself?
What if…what if…what if… ?
If you know anything about manifestation or the power of thought -'What we think about, we bring about'- you might caution someone against this kind of thinking. I was putting a lot of energy into fear and negative thoughts, and I could feel myself sending out a silent signal with every resume, job application and interview;
“Please don’t hire me. I don’t really want this job anyway. I am just doing the leg work so that when I fail, at least I can say that I tried…”
…at least I can say that I tried.
At least I can say that I tried?
AT LEAST I CAN SAY THAT I TRIED?
Jesus Christ, woman! Time to get a grip!
Pick up your skirt and your balls!
Time to look yourself in the eyes, roll up your sleeves and get the fuck to work.
And I don’t mean the work of making money, I mean the work of HONESTY. Of ownership. Of looking life square in the face and acknowledging that I do not get to pick and choose when I show up or have faith. And there is no trying about it.
“At least I can say that I tried” is not acceptable here, and I call bullshit.
I was not trying and failing, I was TRYING to FAIL!
LOOKING FOR AN EXCUSE TO GIVE UP.
Looking for a reason to move home and get married and have babies-all of which would be totally respectable choices IF it was truly what I wanted…but it wasn’t. It isn’t. I didn't then, nor do I want to -in this moment- move home and have babies. What I DID want in that moment, was to have the decisions made FOR me. To be thrown OUT of the volcano even after I jumped in. To be able to say that I tried, and it just wan’t meant to be.
Then I could play it safe (because marriage and children are safe and easy)… I just didn’t want to have to chose. I didn’t want to be responsible. I didn't want to admit to myself that even though New York is sticky and smelly and hot and weird and crazy and un-predictable and way too expensive, it is also a totally magical, and a complete mess.
Just. like. me.
Totally magical, and a mess…and I love it.
I love the mess.
I love the over stimulation.
I love living somewhere that keeps my brain busy enough that it is generally only focused on the task at hand.
I love living somewhere that is teaching me about humility and humanity and my own grit more than any other place I have been to.
Somewhere the rich aren’t ‘safe’ from the poor. Where beauty and ugliness can be found in everything, and are completely subject to the eye of the beholder.
This place is like grad school for life…and it’s FREE.
i love being here.
And while it doesn’t have mountains, it has hills.
It doesn’t have a lot of nature (compared to New Mexico), but the little it does have is held with such reverence and joy that strangers come together in great quantities to value and cherish the luxury of a patch of green grass or the simple beauty of a tulip pushing its way up through the dirt.
i. love. being here.
And in loving being here, I am choosing to leave behind ‘what might have been’ anywhere else.
Choosing to let life show up for me, however it sees fit.
Choosing to have faith that if I am missing something, it will find its way to me.
Choosing to let go of the reigns -the tethering- and see what happens if I let my feet leave the ground.
And all the while, trusting that I am STILL on the path. It’s just a lot curvier and free form than I had originally thought. Maybe the path goes through tunnels in the ground and up into the sky and beyond. Maybe the path will take me into the stratosphere, only to plummet me back down to the earth like a shooting star blazing through the sky and crashing into a crater. The path is all around me. I venture to say that it is all around each of us.
Easter Sunday I spent a lovely day with my family -many of whom I hadn’t seen in several years- and I could feel it. The call to surrender. The un-deniable reminder that I am surrounded by love, and that the only one standing in my way…is me.
Time to give in.
Time to let go of the reigns.
A silent call from within my heart; please Morgan.
And that’s what I did.
I got home that night, sat on the edge of my bed…and cried.
I cried for everything I was letting go of. For the woman I thought I was SUPPOSE to be. For the man I thought I was SUPPOSE to love. For the life I thought I was SUPPOSE to have. For everything that I was already suppose to have accomplished; the awards, the accolades, the experiences, the money, the clothes, the life…I cried and I cried and I cried and I cried and I CRIED.
And then I got up, took a shower, and went to bed.
And then, everything changed.
As I write these words to you now, I have four jobs; one of which matches -almost exactly- the description of my original request.
Four jobs, all working together as a piece of the larger puzzle.
I also received an unparalleled offer of generosity -which I am choosing to keep close to my heart- and closure on a relationship that has technically been over for five years.
In the act of surrender, of caving to this wild and un-predictable ride, I gave up the fight. I stopped trying to swim upstream, and instead went rushing towards all the blessings that had been waiting for me further down the road. Down the path…waiting for me to show up.
In surrender, I opened myself up to the possibility of my demise…or my ascension.
I left a clearing.
A tiny little crack for the light to get in.
And boy oh boy, did it come pouring through.
I believe that there is a path for everyone.
And after the last two weeks, I believe it is more like finding your way out of a super-sized McDonald’s ball pit than finding your way across the street.
Life’s path is not straight forward. It takes you under the radar and over obstacles and straight into the dragon’s mouth -if you are willing to go there- only to find that the dragon was just shadow play made up of dust and pretty purple sparkles.
Full of loops and twists and turns, it can take you downhill with such velocity that you only understand what is happening after you have gone through the loopty-loop upside-down sections of the roller coaster- and not fallen out of your chair.
Only then do you understand why you had to climb up that giant hill in the first place.
I am on my path. After the last two weeks, there is nothing I feel more certain of. With every step, I remember that it is leading me to the next step…which is leading me to the next step.
I asked for what I wanted, fear stepped in, and I still ended up back on the path. Which begs the question; did I ever really step off? Perhaps everything I have put myself through in the past two weeks was all for something and not for nothing. There is no light without darkness, no safety without uncertainty, and no path without chaos.
Sneaky path. Where will you take me next?