Note: This is a a long and deeply personal post, that I ended up turning into a little series. On starting, creating and continuing to be get out of my own way. Aka, spiritual growth, and what that really means. The real, un-edited version.
Haven’t caught up yet? Start here, with Part 1 right here.
Give Me All The Woo-Woo, My Story.
So, where were we?
With me, on my childhood-room floor, skeptical but also just as equally…. hopeful. That maybe this would be the miracle LIFT that I needed.
So, I started.
With my new friend Gabby, with her YouTube meditation videos over the laptop. For just 3 minutes a day, like she promised.
I did it for a week, then two. And then, one morning, something BIG happened:
I stopped, jabbed the pause button in anger. And immediately slammed the screen shut.
WHAT WAS I DOING?
WAS THIS SHIT REALLY GOING TO WORK? COME ON.
I FEEL LIKE A CRAZY PERSON.
I DON’T HAVE THE TIME FOR THIS RIGHT NOW.
I DON’T FEEL ANY DIFFERENT.
I’M NOT DOING THIS RIGHT……I’M NOT GOOD AT THIS.
MAYBE THIS WORKS FOR OTHER PEOPLE BUT NOT FOR ME. I’M TOO PRACTICAL.
THIS IS ALL JUST TOO WEIRD.
I felt like such a poser.
Or a woo-woo hippie poser (which was even worse)
I went from hopeful and open, to the very quick NO, NOPE. ABSOLUTELY NOT train. All aboard.
This whole spiritual and meditation thing was just too weird for me, and plus, I didn’t know how to do it right. And I didn’t have the time, hello—I had a new business to run.
I tell you this, because THIS was first little my divine lesson.
That maybe some of you can relate to:
And it wasn’t all blissful and peaceful and smiley, with tiny overly-happy birds chirping around my flower crown.
No. Instead, it came in the form of judgement (of myself, and of meditating itself), shame, attack and shutting down. Feeling so uncomfortable and weird, I didn’t know what to do with myself.
I was annoyed. At people who meditated. At Gabby too, for making it look so easy. I slammed that laptop and was SO. OVER. IT.
Looking back now, it’s so clear.
Looking back, this was the first time I had to come face to face with how much stuff I had bubbling up under my surface.
With how uncomfortable and foreign it was for me to sit still enough to actually hear my own thoughts (and probably too, those nasty voices in my head).
I mean, come on. No one wants to hear that. Because then you’d have to do something about it. To face the truth. And get really real with yourself in determining which of those thoughts are actually true, versus what you’re making up in your head.
But, it’s so much easier to ignore them, right?
To just pretend like the don’t exist and go on with our overly busy lives, trying to cover up anything uncomfortable or that gives us anxiety to think about. And the weirdest part of all– all of this, isn’t even something we do consciously– all of it is stuff happens without us really realizing what’s really going on.
Until, we can’t anymore.
Because ultimately, those voices will just keep get louder and bubbling up if we keep stuffing them down, distracting ourselves or ignoring them completely.
We get waves of anxiety, or even true attacks.
We get sick.
We drink to much, eat too much, zone out on netflix, or shop too much to numb ourselves.
We get overwhelmed. Stressed out. Maxed out.
And pulled so far away from our joy, and what’s really TRUE.
The mind is a tricky thing. It’s always wanting you to stay safe, to protect you from feeling uncomfortable (in any way), and to play small.
It’s wild and imaginative, and will create thoughts or scenarios that aren’t even true, to get in your way, to block you, and keep you stagnant and stuck.
Unless— they’re allowed to come up and out, into the light, and to be seen for what they really are– our past stories and our biggest lessons to learn, that help us grow and expand exponentially into the humans we’re meant to be.
All of this, I just didn’t know yet. No one ever talked about it- it’s not something you learn in school, or that’s talked about, ever. But everyone deals with it, in some capacity in their lives.
I didn’t know any of it, back then.
And from the outside in– I’d always been a pretty calm person. I totally prided myself on it.
But, add in a massive life transition.
Or, a few at the same time:
Starting a business. And feeling a little lost and uncertain as to what my future meant (in all the categories- where I was living, where my ONE PERSON was, my career/the work I was doing in the world, and in different life stages than all of my close friends).
A complicated little clustery nest of emotions, thoughts, and dreams, all jumbled together. I mean, nothing like life transitions to let you know how much you don’t actually have together.
So, cue the storm. The doubts started to creep in. The fear. The anxiety. The worries. All the low-grade gremlins started having a party in my head and heart.
And I started to shut down.
Because that’s all I knew how to do.
It was too much at once for my little heart to handle.
But then, something else happened.
About 2 weeks later, I’d calmed down a little bit. Or, more honestly, maybe it was a bad first date, or a weird email I got earlier that day. Who knows. All I know is that I needed a little boost.
I decided to pick up Gabby’s book that I had been ignoring on my nightstand, Add More -Ing To Your Life.
The next chapter, all cued up for me? All about judgment. Jealousy. And fear.
It went something like this: whenever you are bothered/annoyed/frustrated by someone or something in your life, it’s just purely a reflection of what’s going on inside of YOU. Something you, yourself, haven’t dealt with yet in your own personal growth journey. It has absolutely nothing to do with them.
I could feel my cheeks getting a little hot, and a deep sinking feeling coming with it. I gripped the book, and kept reading:
Meaning that when that happens– when you judge someone, get irritated, feel shameful, mad, frustrated, scared or jealous, it usually means that there’s actually something deep within you that you wants or desires what they have, but you’re blocking yourself from it.
Basically, that you have the same capacity in you, it’s just not being expressed. Because you’re just getting in your own way. Your thoughts are what’s in your own way.
Blocking you from what you really want in life, deep down.
The book continued, in some capacity, like this:
So, instead of letting that FEAR take over and stop you from what you really want, what if you were able to see those things, circumstances, and people with more LOVE instead?
That your reactions and feelings are actually divine little SIGNS that are there– on purpose– to point you in the right direction.
They’re there to light the path to what you really want in life, and who you are here to be.
Without all that low-grade crap getting in the way.
Because here was the truth in my story:
I was judging meditation and people who had a deeper spiritual practice, because I SO BADLY wanted that peace.
I wanted that connection and strength. That guidance of what to do and what to say, and to who, and when. That quiet power. That trust. That happiness that comes with all of those other things being reality.
I needed those things.
I needed them personally. I needed them professionally.
I needed them, so that I could could coach better. Teach better. Perform better, not based on my own strengths or energy that day.
I needed something deeper I could tap into. A little divine power source of magic.
Call it God, or the universe, or whatever makes sense to you. I craved that alignment and connection and knowing guidance in my life.
Anyone who’s been through any kind of big transition in life– in your food and eating, in your relationships, in houses and your homes, in starting a family, growing a business, leaving a job, starting something new— knows this feeling and craving well. Right?
So. A little word of advice from someone who’s learned the hard way:
This tiny shift in itself can change your life:
You actually have the CHOICE in so much more than you think, about how your life plays out.
Everything? No. But 95 % of things? Yes. Because your thoughts become things. So, make sure you choose the ones you’re listening to with care.
And yes, it WILL feel uncomfortable, and weird at first. Take it as a good sign actually, when those two things come up in your life.
I know, I do. Now when things come up for me, I think to myself- YESSSS. Ooo, there’s something there. Time to get curious..
Because they’re just my clues, to get me back to where I should be. So, I casually thank them for showing up, and ask myself what they’re here to teach me.
Did you just breathe a silent sigh of relief reading that? I hope so.
It’s empowering, right?
And so, simple.
But, the key to all of this?
Like most things that work, it’s about actually putting this into action.
More specifically: having a spiritual practice of your own.
Now, this is where things get tricky.
That could mean a lot of different things. Talks with god, learning how to meditate, or whatever feels good to you. The most important thing is that you clear the space to actually connect. To align. To take a break. To feel. To release. To get honest. To get clear. And to tune in to that soul you were given for a reason.
Because you have to know when this stuff is happening inside your head, instead of just shutting down, ignoring, distracting or letting it fester deep inside, like we are all taught to do by society’s standards.
So, start somewhere. Anywhere you can. Make the space, because it’s important.
You need a place to let this stuff breathe and come to the surface.
To make the few minutes a day to clear out all that junk, so that you can then ask it to step aside because you have bigger and better things to focus on, please and thank you. The things that matter.
So for right now, if that means practicing even having a spiritual practice, do it. Whatever that means to you. Just start.
And the minute you judge it or feel like you’re not doing it right, or you feel weird….well then, GOOD. Keep going. You’re human. And it’s totally normal. But keep going anyways.
Making spiritual space can happen anywhere: in the middle of a hill climb on a spin bike, on a hike, during your daily walk around the neighborhood, on your yoga mat, listening to a song, or just by closing your eyes. You’re not trying to do or achieve anything, you’re just trying to tune in, so you can rise up, beyond the fear.
What would you be able to do in this world if you were able to lean in and be guided by more love & truth instead of sabotaged by fear?
What would you do with your work in the world?
How would you show up differently in all areas of your life?
What more could you create or give?
How would you act?
How would you treat people?
What would you spend more time doing? Less time doing?
What would you do if you weren’t afraid? Of rejection, of people judging you, of what other people think?
(yes, I really want you to answer these questions. Little gems will come from it, I promise)
Because truthfully, fear (and by fear, I mean all of it– judgement, shame, attack, comparison, jealousy, etc) stops us from everything deep and juicy that we crave in our lives. It keeps us stuck, paralyzed and frustrated.
Fear dims our light, our gifts, and who we are here meant to be. It dims and clouds how we show up, how we serve others in the world, and how we love and treat others.
Love can set you free.
It can light you up, and guide you in the most magnificent and magical of ways. If you let it. If you choose it, and let it wash in.
Love lets you rise up, above it all, and makes you embrace who you are here, meant to be.
And in sharing your light and truth, you give more permission to everyone around you, to do the same. And if that doesn’t give you chills, I don’t know what would.
So start now, if you haven’t already.
Tap in and light it up.
Today, make it your mission to find a teacher or person or place you can learn from. For me, it was Gabby. And very much still is, to this day. This woman has changed my life in ways that make we wanna cry when I think about it all, and continues to inspire and challenge me to be more… well, ME.
And get out of my own way, so that I can show up and serve and shine in the world in my own way.
To clear the clutter that could keep any person from living their dreams, and stop trying to think that I have to do it (life) all alone.
But, more on that later, in Part 3 of this series, coming next week.
So, if any of this is speaking to you (aka, you’re still reading this), if there’s one thing I know, its that we get led places on purpose, and so you’re probably for a reason. You can eye roll at me as much as you want, but something brought you here, to this page, in this moment. I don’t really believe in coincidences anymore.
So if that’s you, pay attention to those pings. To that interest. To that fascination.
Gather and learn as much as you can, because you’re probably ready for it.
Gabby herself has a free video series up for just the next week that is so worth listening to, and in my opinion, is a perfect place to get started.
As are each of her books (Add More Ing To Your Life, Spirit Junkie, May Cause Miracles, Miracles Now and her latest, The Universe Has Your Back.) All have authentic wisdom that speaks deeply, but reads easily, no matter what life phase or season you’re in.
Or maybe it’s another teacher or book or place. Take it. Say yes. See what happens.
And let love rule. Let it seep into your life, in every area it can. Let it grow and expand. Because that’s where the magic and a life beyond your wildest dreams starts.
Photos by Talitha Photos (and me).