Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The Karmic Battlefield

One year ago today, I worked my last shift at the job where I had spent the last six years of my life. I stayed late that solstice evening to tie up loose ends, to say some final goodbyes, and then I walked out and walked away without turning around or pausing or shedding a single tear. I was completely numb.

This job wasn't just a job though it started out as just that. Over the years, this job, this small local business morphed into what I can only describe as a karmic battlefield--a battlefield where karmic seeds sprouted vines that would follow me around into every area of my life choking me until all my karmic debt was paid.

It was karma that I needed to repay so I could move forward, so I could be free--free from my karmic ties, free from everything that had held me locked in place. I wasn't particularly unhappy, but I wanted more out of life than the life I had built in Santa Cruz.

It was time to start moving forward, but I hit a very big, thick, opaque wall in every direction I turned, in every move I made--looking for a door that simply wasn't there. Apparently, I had a lot of work to do first. And the Universe decided that I would do all that work at once and very quickly. And when the time is upon you...everything began to align.

Throughout 2012, 2013, and 2014, people and circumstances were put in front of me that challenged me or sometimes were out right shoved at me full force--forcing me into uncomfortable, and at times, dangerous situations, forcing me to make tough decisions, forcing me to learn how to forgive, to grow, to stand up for myself, to become strong, to fight for my survival in more ways than one.

This is not the place to go into those details, but I will say that what I experienced and witnessed over such a short span of time would have at best caused most people to give up or at worst break them. But I did not give up. I did not break. I survived. I walked into 2015 completely numb to the world around me and myself, but I survived. (You can read about many of my survival tools in my Bending Reality post).

And today, I celebrate that survival and freedom by honoring my battlefield and all those people and circumstances who presented themselves over those years, who helped streamline my life to where it is today--to this year of magic and travel and writing.

I now know what freedom feels like, what peace feels like, what it feels like to sleep well, what living without stress and anxiety are like. I now know what it feels like to put my purpose first and let everything else fall into place.

There is this saying: "Be kind. Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about."

Move into the New Year and through the world with compassion and kindness and no judgement. Your co-worker or neighbor or relative or even your friends could be fighting a battle you know nothing about--or not as much as you think you know. Your kindness just might be enough light to save them.

"Travel light, live light, spread the light, be the light." ~Yogi Bhajan

Sat Nam

Friday, December 9, 2016

Tarot, Thai Islands, and the Inevitable Process of Transformation

I'm now in my 12th month of travel, of following my curiosity, and instead of reveling in this milestone to round out my year, I can't stop dwelling on what that Tarot card reader told me....wait. I'm having deja vu. Didn't this happen at the end of my first month of travel just before I left Amritapuri?

It did!

Only this time it wasn't an old French man with a weathered traditional deck giving me a reading at an Indian ashram. This time my reading was done by a most amazing magical faerie from Portland, Oregon also named Sarah. Her deck was crisp and new and full of angels and magical images. And we weren't in an Indian ashram--we were sitting on the floor of a small art gallery in Chiang Mai, Thailand. I had just led my first write-in at our weekly writing meetings at the gallery, and my brain was overloaded with too many questions and doubts and too much anxiety (hello old friend).

The overall reading was incredible--deep and intimate and positive. I've been guided down the right roads. I'm headed in the right direction. But...there is that inevitable but. My final card of the spread was one that showed disappointment and missed opportunities--ones that I will only recognize because of emotions that I'll experience from them--small ones, insignificant ones, afterthoughts in the larger scope of where my life is heading (according to my future outcome). Ones that I will need to experience in order for me to continue down this path toward that desired future outcome.

I have a feeling you'll experience them very soon, she told me. I'm thinking even as soon as your Krabi trip.

What did I experience on that trip? What did I feel?

The days went by at lightening speed, but I was able to slow down time in my mind and linger in certain moments--boating around the Phi Phi Islands mesmerized at the rock formations jutting out of the Andaman Sea, imagining all the magic on all those seemingly deserted beaches with what looked to be make shift shacks clinging to cliff edges, gazing out at the majestic rock walls of Maya Bay, watching my roommate climb out onto our hotel window ledge to smoke a cigarette then attempt to pry the window back open from the outside...

The only thing that even came close to a disappointment or missed opportunity was the realization that the trip went by much too quickly and I'd have to return and linger longer in those places that I was only able to glimpse.

And in the weeks thereafter?

Ah, my friends. There it is. Something I was only able to truly feel the week after I returned to the city. As much as I love living here and working here, there are hints all around me that I need to be careful not to fall into a complacent existence and to trust that inner knowing that this isn't where I need to be long. But I will cherish my life here and everyone I come to know as long as it lasts.

My willingness to be open to the Universe showing me what it's needed to show me has made me aware that small disappointments aren't really disappointments at all, but noticeable guide posts redirecting me to where I'm meant to be.

How do you view disappointments in your life--as missed opportunities and regrets or as a guide posts redirecting you toward where you're meant to be?