“The future is all around us, waiting in moments of transition, to be born in moments of revelation. No one knows the shape of that future, or where it will take us. We know only that it is always born in pain.”
J. Michael Straczynski, Babylon 5
Last night I had a dream that I was in an amphitheater standing on a giant pillar that looked more like a domino. There were tons of these in large concentric circles and there were people standing on the tops of all of them watching a man speak on a stage setup below in the front. I remember seeing sound equipment around him, and while I could hear that he was saying something, I can’t remember what he was saying. I remember that I was angry with what I was hearing. I tried to get down from my pillar to confront him. I screamed he was lying and couldn’t be trusted. I couldn’t be heard over the crowd, but he seemed to see me and make eye contact. I can’t remember if he said this to me or if I just thought it, but I clearly understood that my protest against him wouldn’t matter and that nothing would change. My partner started to climb down from her own pillar and I stopped her, since it was difficult to get down. I told her to stay there because it wouldn’t matter, and nothing would change. We’d have to do something else. Then I woke up.
This one probably doesn’t need much psychoanalysis to figure out in the current political climate. Here we all are sitting up on our little dominos waiting for someone or something to be the catalyst that send us all into a crashing heap. I don’t care which side of the political fence you happen to stand on, it’s gonna end in tears.
The most interesting part of the dream is my realization that I can’t change the trajectory that the community is on. The man is spouting lies and nothing I say or do will change what he’s saying and doing. No one can hear me in the din of the crowd. They aren’t paying attention to me. Why should they when they are trying to balance on their own domino to keep it from falling? They have their own personal concerns. Whether or not the man on the stage is one of them, I don’t know. Maybe they know what’s going on, maybe they don’t.
My conclusion in the dream is that my partner and I will have to do something else. What? Perhaps it’s time to go inward, reflect, gain a better understanding of ourselves, our needs, and what is truly important to us. What does one do when the veneer of civilization is peeled back to reveal the jungle lurking beneath the surface?
I haven’t been blogging of late as July turned out to
be a rather difficult month. Five planetary retrogrades, Chiron in retrograde
(the Wounded Healer is strong in my natal chart), and a solar and lunar eclipse
– oh my! You could say that this month was full of important lessons and growth.
You could also say it was like getting hit with a meteorite traveling at the
speed of light and you’d be right as well.
Last year on
this date, the universe gave me an important lesson. You can read about it in my first
blog post. And up until a few months ago, I thought I learned it. I did
actually learn it, but we don’t always follow the lessons we learn, do we?
Intellectual knowledge requires life experience to truly drive home the point
and transmute itself into Wisdom. Obtaining Wisdom is often done through
challenges, obstacles and pain. During this eclipse/retrograde season, the
Universe sent another loud message to get my head out of my ass and to stop
falling for all of the shinies. All that glitters is not gold and all that.
I am living through a financial scare right now. This summer I lost a good portion of my income temporarily as a number of my courses were canceled due to low enrollment. I started sending out application to schools all over the state. I stopped working on my new projects, the ones I love, the ones I believe will lead me to a better, more authentic life. I abandoned my pursuit of my Personal Legend, as Paulo Coelho called it in The Alchemist. I did this out of fear. I retreated back to what was old and familiar. To a place I already know no longer serves me.
The Universe sent me another big fat HELL NO! And then
rerouted me to where I need to be again. Last year it was wrapped in a massive
hail storm. This year, I was left with a much longer lingering affect which
won’t be lost on me anytime soon. It’s been said that stupidity should be
painful. This was physically and mentally painful. It left me sick, beat-up, worn-out
and drained of energy.
This time around, however, I was able to reap the
benefits of the growth I experienced over the past year. I’m not wallowing in
this mistake as I would have before. I’ve been able to forgive myself. It
wasn’t immediate, but it wasn’t months longs either as it would be in the past.
I gave myself a few days to recover from the blow and nurse my wounds. Then I
started a routine to get myself reoriented and back on track.
Here’s the gist of my lesson. Self-transformation cannot begin with giving in to old patterns, old ways of thinking, old jobs, and old thoughts about self. That will only breed more of the old. Self-transformation begins with deep self-reflection and taking steps in new directions. It’s far more than applying intellectual knowledge. In some ways, intellectual knowledge can get in the way. It’s about developing intuition and applying the lessons of lived experience. In other words, cultivating Wisdom. How often have I written in this blog, Know Thyself?
Fear, Doubt, Uncertainty, Anxiety, these negative thought patterns that ego clings too, need to be ejected. Easier said then done, right? But not impossible. Meditation helps quite a bit. It lead me to the realization that I had to realign my goals to place personal transformation at the center of everything. When I placed my income and financial prosperity as my stated outcome for my transformation — out of fear and a sense of lack in my life — what I got back was more fear and lack in my life.
I tell my students, don’t focus on the grade, focus on
the learning. If you focus on the learning, the grades will follow. They resist
this. I often hear, “I need to get an A in this class! How do I get an A?” I
tell them to focus on learning and understanding the content. Read my feedback
on your assignments. Apply that feedback. Ask questions if you don’t
understand. There is no other magic pill for getting an A in the class.
What I learned was that I was doing the same thing as
my students: I focused on the financial outcome rather than the personal
transformation required to live an authentic life.
But this set back isn’t without it’s gains. For one, I have much more empathy with my students. I can get very frustrated with them when they don’t heed my words. What I learned is that it’s quite hard to do when there is so much at stake. Fear, Doubt, Uncertainty and Anxiety rear their hydra heads and scared the bejesus out of me! It is the same for my students when the fear a bad grade will keep them out of a certain program or that they will lose financial funding. Or they won’t meet the impossibly high goals they set for themselves. I understand that one more as well.
I also learned to trust in my instincts and the
synchronicities around me. Everything within and around me told me that I was
going backwards. I convinced myself otherwise. I convinced myself that it was
just a temporary setback to my ultimate goal until I got back on my feet. When
ego is scared, ego lies. It’s a hard lesson to learn, but an important one.
The most important lesson, was that once I released
the death-grip I had on controlling my finances, opportunities started to flow
towards me. Ideas that I previously found elusive started to flow from me. I
feel like for the first time in my life, I know what I want to do and how to
get there. What it took was a realignment of priorities. Focus on the personal
transformation, let go of my attachment to results, and the results that I need
in my life will manifest.
It’s been a long, hot mess of a summer. But it’s also been quite productive. I know what I need to do and I’m getting on track with how to do it. The witch has finally awakened, let the magick begin!
If I had only one message to pass on to people as we enter 2019, it would be to develop your intuition and trust it. When we are young, we’re often not taught to listen to the inner voice we have that tells us if we’re going in the right direction or not. The direction could be something as simple as whether or not what we eat will disagree with our body or more complex like whether or not we choose to trust someone. We’re taught to give someone or something the benefit of the doubt. You never know, it might just turn out for the best! However, there are many times in my life where I hear that voice in the back of my head, and I wish I would have listened to it. Does something deserve attention in our lives just because it might turn out alright? If our reservation is only due to fear of the unknown, then perhaps it needs to be re-evaluated. The benefit of the doubt may be in order. But if we’re listening to our internal voice that speaks to us from a place of inner knowledge, then we ought to listen to it. It will tell us whether or not something is right or wrong for us.
Intuition, like most things worthwhile in life, takes some time to develop. It develops out of experience, the ability to read and assess the nuances of a situation quickly, a thorough knowledge and understanding of self/mind, and the ability to trust the inner voice that tells us the low down on what’s really going on in a given situation.
I think most of us develop our intuition to a certain extent, but it stops where fear steps in and takes over the reins. In many cases in my own life, I’ve often confused fear for intuition. I’ve missed out on opportunities and jumped into bad situations because of that confusion. This didn’t happen because fear and intuition are closely related and easy to confuse, rather it happened because I did not thoroughly understand myself.
Pythia of the Oracle at Delphi, by John Collier
The words Know Thyself or Gnōthi Seauton (in Greek γνῶθι σεαυτόν), were inscribed in the forecourt of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi. Kings, statesmen, merchants, and holy men, came to Delphi to meet with the oracle, who would impart to them prophetic messages. The oracle always spoke in ambiguous language which needed to be interpreted by the person receiving the prophecy. To correctly interpret the meaning, one had to first understand their own mind. Without this self-knowledge, the prophecy was often interpreted in the favor of the receiver, what one wanted to hear, rather than more accurately how their biases and hubris would bring problems and catastrophes upon them. Just ask King Croesus of Lydia how that all worked out for him when he went to war with the Persians after visiting Delphi.
To know thyself means to be aware of everything about oneself. Even the dark, nasty things that we don’t always want to recognize in ourselves. In other blog posts I spoke of that mean, petty part of me that can lash out and cause all sorts of hardships in my own life and the lives of others. That aspect of me can even sabotage myself from moving forward and set me back further. Understanding that this aspect of me exists, means that I can put energy toward it and transmute that energy and shift it elsewhere, to a place where it is more productive and positive.
But knowing thyself is not just about recognizing the bad stuff, it also means that we can recognize a lot of the good stuff that we bury. I’ve done this quite a bit in my life. I can recall times when I was working on a project or a task, it was criticized or laughed at, and I pulled back into my shell and opted to forget I ever tried it. That’s fear. Rather than assessing the situation, I recoiled and gave up for fear of being laughed at or viewed as an idiot. In cases like this, it wasn’t intuition that was whispering in my ear, it was fear.
Fear is like a noxious weed if you let it into your life. It can strangle your intuition if it’s given a chance. Had I listened to my intuition, I wouldn’t have given up, I would have kept going. I would have assessed the worthiness of the criticism and made adjustments if necessary. I would have recognized the goodness in my own vision and I would have given it my love and time.
The Super Blood Wolf Moon on January 20/21 2019, ushered in a new rebirth for many of us who have been on a roller-coaster of emotional, draining energy over the past four years. July of 2018 felt like the sudden death of the old path I was on and I entered into a healing restorative period of my life for a few months. Now it’s time to rise from the ashes. To move forward, I know I must understand myself; the good, the bad and the ugly. With knowledge of myself grounded in reality, I can trust my intuition and let fear go. I can start to live authentically.