New Year brings the energy and invitation to let go of the old and embrace the new. The cycle this year possessed a strong energy for change as we moved into a new era. It seemed to me that resolution was no longer about what habits / foods I wanted to give up but instead the energy invited me to look much deeper and more expansively than I had done before. It urged me to look at the truth. The truth of who I believe I am, the truth of the universe and the truth of what is working and not working for me.
I have read many writings on how this new dawn will bring about change in the social, political and economic structures. But I wasn’t fully aware of the amount out personal barriers, boundaries and constructs that were to fall and just how painful and scary that change can be.
As children we are programmed from birth. In his book ‘The Four Agreements’ Don Miguel Ruiz calls this “human domestication” stating that this programming causes us to forget the eternal wisdom we are born with and how it is overlaid with the rules and values of our family and the society we were born into
“The people we live with tell us their opinions: what is good and what is bad, what is right and what is wrong. What is beautiful and what is ugly. Just like a computer all that information is downloaded into our head. We are innocent; we believe what our parents or other grown-ups tell us; we agree, and the information is stored in our memory”
Don Miguel Ruiz
We agree, as vulnerable babies we have no choice but to agree, but our eternal being always knows and holds firmly the truth of us until such a time we are strong enough, tenacious enough, brave enough, or even in so much pain that we have to take a peek at the truth of who we are beneath the programme.
Pain/illness can be our greatest teacher if we understand its call. It is like an alarm clock awakening you to a new dawn. It invites us to awaken and ask the questions of the cause. What is causing this pain, this stress, this illness? What is it trying to teach me and dare I learn? Will I listen and will I change?
I could so easily move into a discussion about illness and pharmaceuticals right now but I want to stay on track with letting go and embracing the new.
And so our soul holds us, knowing our path, knowing our gifts, knowing our truth and it whispers gently to us, or perhaps not so gently in some cases. It guides us to new people, new ideas, new places, new books, anything that just might spark a memory of our true self. Sometimes this truth feels like a home-coming, a warm blanket, a familiar face and we are able to shed old patterns easily and we welcome and integrate the new. All to often, our programs are strong, and the voices of the past shout loud and our fears are so great that we can’t breathe, we can’t look and we feel threatened. These responses are true, we are threaten, or more accurately put, the story is threatened, the identity is threaten, our beliefs are threatened and all to often we project ‘out there’ and cry that something ‘out there’ is wrong and threatening us. My children cry “Mum, tell him he’s making me angry…” and I say ” That’s impossible, only you have that power”. Then they look at me like I’m crazy and they carry on complaining.
If we have grown up or more acurrately put, ‘awakened to our true identity’, we realise the ‘problem’ isn’t ‘out there’ and neither is the solution. With new awareness we see our feelings as indicators, as reminders, as an alarm call and an invitation to look within and find that which is asking to be healed, to be shed or be heard. If we choose to remember that as strong as these feelings may be and as scary as they may seem they are your soul calling you to look and look again, reminding you that it is time to grow and to shed. Its time to become more of your true self. Only when we do this can we begin the inner journey toward freedom.
But how do we do this? Not many people model this self-enquiry. In fact, all too often we are misguided and programmed into a co-dependent existence with all its unspoken and unwritten rules and assumptions instead of learning empowerment through self-responsibility. From birth most of us are taught the limiting model of codependency, as we are held responsible for the feelings of our caregivers. Often we believe our actions are the cause of great upset in another when, in fact, the upset belongs to the individual. As a young Mum my confidence was fairly low and it was very important for my children to ‘behave’ so the world could see what a good Mum I was. I didn’t so much care about their self-expression, I was more concerned that they helped me to show everyone how good I was and so I made my low confidence their responsibility and not mine.
Moving from codependence and blame into self empowerment and self-responsibility can be like walking through a dark forest alone. At first you cannot see a thing and you are perhaps terrified and scared for your survival. You hear unrecognisable noises, see strange shapes, you have no signal on your phone to ask for guidance and you forgot to bring the GPS. Alone and unprepared for survival in the forest, you have no choice but to turn to your gut, your intuition, your inner guidance. It hasn’t been used for a while, perhaps ever, after all you have always been told what to do, where to go, what to eat, what career to take, what sport you should play and how you should talk and dress and behave. With all that noise gone you are able to hear the inner knowledge that has always been there. You take a step forward, a twig cracks and you fall to the floor terrified, what was that? You feel so alone, “some one help” you cry, but no-one is there. In the silence of the dark you hear your breath and it gives you comfort. Once again you stand and walk in the direction that seems to draw you for no other reason than it feels right, and with out the warning voices of others the decision seems easier. As you walk with your heart and gut for guidance, you gain strength and confidence in the small signals that are lighting your way. Slowly you begin to relax even though the forest hasn’t changed and it is still full of surprises. In a more relaxed state you begin to notice the trees, an owl, a deer, and rabbits, and you find yourself actually enjoying being ‘lost,’ although now you know that even though you don’t know your way out of the forest and there is still no clear path, you are in fact not ‘lost’ at all. Instead you are re-connected to your inner guidance. You decide to stay a while in the forest and play alone, strengthening your wisdom, your confidence and inner knowing, before once again re-emerging into the noise of society.
Learning to trust your gut, and returning to our innate guidance becomes easier as we allow ourselves the silence to listen and gift ourselves with the courage to hear, and equip ourselves with the tenacity to act on what we want, our choices or desires, our dreams and our journeys.
In many ways there is a safety in the ‘norm’ that each of us longs for. But the norm has squeezed out change and now fears diversity, so for those of us that are strong we must light the way and dare to show our difference. We must dare to walk outside the boundary of the norm and leave the safety of our belonging and acceptance in search for or truth. We must seek new families, tribes and clans that allow us to be loved and accepted because of our differences. We all deserve to be safe and we all deserve the right to belong but first the journey must start within. We have to explore the inner dark forest and stand alone so that we have a chance to re-connect with our inner being. Once we have gone through this initiation we will then awaken to a new world.
“It is very important that you only do what you love to do. you may be poor, you may go hungry, you may lose your car, you may have to move into a shabby place to live, but you will totally live. And at the end of your days you will bless your life because you have done what you came here to do. Otherwise, you will live your life as a prostitute, you will do things only for a reason, to please other people, and you will never have lived. and you will not have a pleasant death.”