How to feel
When I look back on the past year, the only way I can summarize it is “woah”. I spent 4 months in yoga teacher training, moved across the country twice, fell in love, worked my ass of for and then shut-down my NFP, had about 17 different jobs… If you know me or keep up with anything I write you already know these things.
There have been a lot of new learnings and awakenings in my life but I think the most significant one is the awakening to my own energy. Or more specifically, the power I have over my own energy.
Whether it’s being able to protect myself from unnecessary vulnerabilities (like leaving a yoga class to a busy, Toronto street) or just looking at what my thoughts are and taking accountability for how they affect my life. There are thousands of moments that I’ve been transformed in and by during this time of understanding.
I recently made some pretty big career changes. It involved facing my fears and my intuition head on. Letting go of a false sense of protection and security for a more intuitive path. I quit my “regular” job in a field I’ve worked in for ~5 years and have had since my move to Nova Scotia. I wasn’t giving up any kind of substantial amount of money – working for 12.50 an hour as a barista after coming from a province where minimum wage was well above that isn’t something to make me consider sticking around for. But my concerns were more in the realm of “Can I support myself with just myself?” and “Is what I’m doing important?” and “What if it’s not the work? What if I’m just lazy and will find an excuse in anything that bores me after a while?”
It’s true, I need to be stimulated. I need creative release. I need less routine but more to-do lists. I am a productive worker on my own, I can definitely get shit done. But the smallest things throw a wrench in my day and my energy. Knowing that I have to do something that I don’t find intuitive or fulfilling has a panic brewing in the back of my being. Not because of my thoughts, but because I know intuitively that this isn’t what I’m supposed to be doing.
Intuition vs. Anxiety
I’ve had to battle a lot with this idea of intuition. When is it your gut and when is it anxiety?
I think I’ve been able to break it down to two main factors.
Intuition: There is little to no logic. You don’t have to think your way in or out of it. There is just a knowing.
Anxiety: There are reasons. You’re able to think of why or why not. There are excuses and “logic” but very little feeling.
I intuitively know that I should be working on my personal brand. That I shouldn’t be putting time or energy into other people or businesses right now. That I will be and am supported in making these shifts. That this is what I’m supposed to be doing and it is important work. These are not thoughts, necessarily. These are words I’ve put to the feelings I have when I am doing all of these things.
My anxiety tells me that I need all my side jobs. That I need to run other peoples social media and still be nannying. That I will not be able to financially support myself. That people do not want to support me in this transition and that it’s essentially a pipe dream to think that I, as a person, am a brand. That I, as a person, have an impact to make.
How do we get out of these loops? How do we trust?
I think it’s the same as anything – the same thing I learned with writing. You just do it.
I’m not in that 100% supporting myself mode yet. I am still hanging on to tiny tendrils of support by others. But I did quit my main job. I am saying no to things that don’t serve me. I am not letting other people steer my time or energy or path. I am aware of what I have to give and where it will best flourish. There are many small, internal steps that go into these processes more than external. Quitting my job is one move – making sure I feel emotionally, mentally, and financially stable enough to do so is another thing.
focusing and honing
Even though every choice I make has brought me closer and closer to that feeling of union with my life and my purpose, there is something still terrifying about embodying that completely. For me, I think it stems from the question “What if I don’t always feel that way?” which is to say, what if there is a time I am so embodied and then I lose track and find myself lost again? What if it feels so good and then one day… it doesn’t? The fear of living from this place of wholeness is rooted in straying from it.
This comes from other places of loss in my life and I have to reconcile those projections and also understand that growth means being uncomfortable. It means constantly chasing that feeling – the feeling of floating just below the surface of the water, with enough breath, being able to see the light shining through. You know what I’m talking about. I think the thing is that we always have to come up for air at some point, but it doesn’t mean we can’t go back under.
Focusing on why I am afraid, why I don’t take the leaps yet, and honing in on the realities of my own circumstances and experiences help me to understand that I always have a choice. If things don’t go right, I have a choice to go back to work elsewhere. But I also have a choice to stay stuck in places that rub me in the wrong way for just long enough that little parts of me start to blister and burst. This surface that I long to lay under slowly seeping out of me. I do not have a cup to fill, but more a pool. An ocean. Everything needs tending to, even a dharma requires maintenance.
There is a photo a friend took of me recently where a kind of rainbow appears in it. The rainbow is only two colours – red and indigo. In the chakra system this represents the root chakra and the third eye chakra. Together they form a balance in energy that encompasses everything I’ve been working on.
The Root Chakra represents career, money mindset, and sense of belonging.
The Third Eye Chakra represents intuition, sense of purpose, and direction in life.
A friend asked if she could shoot me in my apartment for her portfolio, but also used it as a double up to hone in on my personal brand. It highlighted the work from home lifestyle I have, as well as my tarot reading and new book Under The Callous. The shoot made me feel powerful, feminine, creative, and embodied. I could see myself successfully doing the things I love without having to make ends meet in other ways. In fact, I could see myself not thinking about making ends meet at all. I saw myself focusing on growth and trusting being supported in that.
So, when I got the photos back and those colours appeared it spoke to me. It was the most literal reminder life could have given me, saying “Hey, you’ve got this. You’re onto something here. Keep moving forward.”
These are the themes I’ve been working on fiercely this past year. I want a life that is supported, and guided, by my intuition. I want a life of abundance, joy, and success. I want to see the manifestation of my thoughts and beliefs. And I know it will continue to happen because it already has. I know it will happen because I believe it – because I have chosen it.
I’ve had no plan to get where I am now. There is no master guide or external resource that tells us the best way to do things or what to choose for our lives. The compass of our own intuition is the best and most reliable tool to hone. It brought me to yoga, which brought me to Halifax, which brought me to writing my second book and moving into my own apartment.
Communities and spaces were created and opened that couldn’t have happened if I was following a “plan” – my plan was to be a successful owner of a NFP and working towards early “retirement” so I could write. Now I’m closer to where I want to be and further from my ego’s idea of success.
I don’t have any advice that you haven’t heard before or doesn’t sound entitled. I will tell you that I believe our lives start first from our minds. If we truly believe we have enough, are successful, live abundantly then the true state of these beliefs manifests for us. Mastering our thoughts is endlessly difficult but powerful in its simplicity – like most things, I’d say.
For me, it is not about saying “I hope for this, or I wish for this.” It is saying “This is going to be my future. I know this like I know my name. I am choosing this energy”. I encourage you to try it – the hardest part is believing it. The easiest part is trying.