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Cracking Open My Reality

I’m thousands of feet up in the air, in a metal tube that’s carrying me to LA for a fifth retreat with my spiritual teacher and a group of women who just over a year ago, I had never met in person.

The thought “Am I crazy?” pops into my mind and I laugh at myself. If choosing to crack open my reality and continue to shift my relationships with myself, with time, with what’s possible in this life makes me crazy, then I guess I am.

I have no idea how my reality will shift in the next three days of ceremony and connection but I know it will. It always does.

At our first retreat, I realized how lonely I made myself by keeping at a “safe” distance, by judging others, by trying to be an A+ student, by trying to be better than everyone else and feeling frustrated when I didn’t get special attention.

At the second, I discovered that I had a solid block that kept me from feeling my emotions fully. I was more afraid of crying than throwing up. I was afraid of feeling bad even though I already felt bad.

The third time, I noticed that I was still trapped in the belief that I needed to prove myself to earn others’ love. Turns out, I was holding onto the childhood fear that I would be cast away if I don’t show everyone how amazing I am.

At the fourth, I experienced the incomparable freedom of getting out of my mind. I learned how it feels to be completely surrendered yet with sovereignty: clear and fully in the experience of life without judgment, without hoping for or wanting something different.

Written in a list like this, these might sound like small discoveries, but each catalyzed a seizmic shift toward feeling clear and free.

You don’t deepen your relationships by staying at a “safe distance”. Now, when I notice myself putting up wall, I pull it right down. This has impacted every relationship in my life. I feel more connected. I feel my heart.

You can’t receive and experience all the beauty and pleasure and joy the world has to offer when you are afraid of feeling bad. When I notice big emotions coming, I do my best to feel through them rather than trying to distract or numb myself and freezing them in my body. It has transformed the way I relate to everything I do. I feel lighter. I feel it all.

You can’t shine your brightest when you’re doing it for someone else. So now, when I notice that I’m trying to be someone I’m not, that I’m trying to do something for the approval — to “get it right” — I give myself all the love and compassion I can muster and ask myself what I really want. It has transformed my relationship with myself. I feel more grounded. I feel clear.

You can’t live life fully, you can’t experience joy and discovery and awe when you’re looping in your mind, judging what’s happening, wanting things to be different from how they are. In a month of crises, with illness and accidents and health scares, this and all of the other lessons, helped me to feel so much gratitude for everything that comes.

I have so much love in my life.

I have so much richness.

I have so much connection.

I have so much fun.

When I get out of my head, when I stop judging, when I see what’s happening without the lens of my past programming, when I ask myself how a situation is for me, rather than happening to me, everything becomes laughably light and easy.

This is why I’m doing this work. Not because I want to change who I am, but because I want to embrace all of me, all of what life has to bring, uncompromisingly, with gratitude and ease. I want to fully come home to myself.

This is also why I support others in this work. Because I believe that the world will be exponentially more beautiful, prosperous and joyful if more of us embrace ourselves and our innate wisdom and gifts, choose to do what lights us up, and share it with the world.

Someone wise once said that life is a journey of coming home to ourselves. I am so grateful for all the people who have and continue to help me find my way home, and for the priviledge and opportunity to help others to do the same.

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