I get scared. I think about giving up . . . on my dreams, my career, sometimes even my life.
As a spiritual teacher, I add guilt and shame into this anxiety cocktail because I feel that I’m supposed to be “beyond this by now.” How can people trust me to guide them if I feel lost? How can I trust myself to do so? Doubt then enters the mix. What if everything I teach and believe is nothing more than a grand delusion? Why isn’t “it” working faster? Am I doing it wrong?
This fall, I took a selfie while in the throws of the worst anxiety episode I had experienced in many years. I was supposed to be leading an online program to help us get our sh*t together, but instead my sh*t was falling apart. I had realized my studio, my beloved sacred space, no longer served me; and, I was preparing to release it. Even though I had specific guidance from Spirit about what would come next, I couldn’t muster the faith to trust in that vision.
Something about that image, with my wide, scared eyes, moves me. I see a beauty in vulnerability that hints of depth. My eyes are full and round, bright with tears, but so definitely alive that even my fear gives me hope. Those eyes – my eyes – have been through hell AND have seen the light. Somehow, the light still shines out of them.
But I didn’t see that, then. I refused to follow my own advice. Rather than turning inward, I avoided my feelings. And, as always, they came for me anyway.
I experienced a true ego death during the latter part of 2018. I gave up everything I thought defined me. A survivor of childhood abuse, poverty, and trauma, I thought “I’ve made it,” because I was in a healthy, secure marriage with a strong, successful, kind man whom I loved. I thought, “I’ve made it,” because I owned a beautiful yoga studio in a prestigious town. I defined myself as these things: wife, mother, yoga studio owner.
All of that changed, by my own choices, which were born of deep introspection and trust. What I didn’t realize was that in releasing these “Ego Markers,” I also released my attachment to everything I used to believe would save me. I let go of all the past dreams and goals I had made. I was left with . . . well, with just myself.
Redefining Rediscovering myself could have been my priority, then. I could have gotten quiet, sat in meditation, written down my thoughts and feelings, gone into the woods, lit candles, and engaged in all the other glorious beautiful practices I so love.
But I didn’t. Instead, I got scared. I tried to hold onto my ego with white knuckles and Capricornian stubbornness. I pretended lied and said everything was okay, all was well, I was moving onward and upward.
So, yeah. I get scared.
A couple days ago, I knew it was time to make a choice. I either had to give up . . . to quit this path of truth and authenticity, to “get a job,” to accept defeat – or to finally close my eyes and See myself. That sounds dramatic, I realize. Many people whom I love dearly said, “That’s not giving up, Brittany! You have to do what you have to do. If you need to get a job, for a while, that’s okay.”
But I know. This has been my guidance, has been on my heart, in my dreams, on my mind throughout this entire ego death process. I KNOW I am on the edge of my dreams coming true – all of them. I have BIG dreams. So big, in fact, that my childhood was marred by adults telling me to either “be realistic,” or that I had a chip on my shoulder. Dreams so big that my eyes fill up with tears and brightness when I consider the profundity of the life I want to live.
I have to choose it. Just like I always say: “We want what we want because we are meant to have it.” So, for me to turn away and lose faith in myself would be a death of a different kind. I either need to devote myself entirely to this path of Light Work, of aiding the Ascension, of teaching/healing/guiding . . . or I need to not.
And, my beloveds, I can’t not.
This mind-loop is a powerful thing, though. Man, was I stuck. Negative self-talk, apathy, falling out of sync with my practice – yikes. Knowing what I want is one thing; doing it is another.
So I returned to the basics. Dry January (no alcohol) was my first move. Getting clear headed and allowing/forcing myself to sit with my feelings is always the first step. So I’ve been meditating, even through the anxious racing thoughts, and realizing how much grief is in my body. I released so much, but I didn’t allow myself to grieve any of it. Posturing to myself that I am “moving forward,” is not the same as moving through my humanity.
It’s really sad, this releasing. I miss the way the light shone through the studio windows in sparkly rainbows, glimmering off the lake. I loved the routine of teaching a dozen classes a week in that space. I miss making big, homemade meals for a family. I miss my fluffy gray familiar, the kitty named Taz, who isn’t allowed at my new home. I loved so many aspects of the last chapter.
Ignoring the feelings of loss results in becoming stuck in the feeling of loss. How can I attract abundance, opportunities, and new light when my heart is calling for me to sit and honor the release? Until I allow the grief, I cannot escape it. Manifesting 101 right there.
I get scared. I think about giving up.
But so do all the “Greats,” my dear friend reminded me. She cited Wayne Dyer’s story of numbing himself, Brene Brown’s “gremlins,” and the necessity of changing my daily patterns. If those change-makers, thought-leaders, inspiration-creators sometimes get scared, too – why can’t I? What makes me so devoted to my own inadequacies?
There’s light in my heart, and the more wide open it breaks, the more light shines through. My eyes fill up with tears of joy and sorrow, and that’s okay. Courage isn’t the absence of fear, it’s the commitment to move through it.
Today, I broke free of my cycle. I went to Buti Yoga, absorbed some much-needed vitamin D, and am working from the library rather than my home. I’m writing – this, now – and it feels so damn good. Even though I am scared of things . . . money, bills, being a single mom, finalizing all the paperwork . . . I am courageous. I always have been.
This is my journey, and I can’t not.