|I shared this story once before: |
My life went to hell. My husband at the time forged my name to put liens on our assets and ultimately lost his business putting us in debt (over $1M). And I found out he had a drug problem. My children were barely one and five years old. We lost our savings, our home, and our marriage. And he ended up in court over the next two years.
It’s difficult to know when you’re in the middle of a shitstorm if you’re making the right decisions. Looking back, I got through it like a champion. And I learned to ask for help and choose my truth.
Fortunately, I had already been learning to heal through foods, regularly practicing yoga, and working with my doctors and spiritual teachers weekly. We all experience hell in one form or another. This is why I speak so strongly about the practices we share. I was fortunate enough to start them before my hell, so I had access to powerful tools that gave me energy, made me believe in myself, and show up in the world roaring compassionately.
But my story doesn’t end there. I was content. I turned my life around, loved the people around me (dropping all the toxic influences), and I had an incredible support system and a healthy, relaxed lifestyle. Because of my full dive into a yogic life, I developed a strong aura; it wouldn’t be unusual, at the time, for a total stranger to approach and tell me about it. Or for someone to say, I feel incredibly calm around you; I want what you have.
Yet I felt a turbulence bubbling underneath the calm. After I had taken care of the hell that was my life circumstance, I realized I had completely insulated myself in this new, sweet life and stopped putting myself in uncomfortable situations to continue following my soul’s journey. It’s like I decided to park along the path and set up camp. I was called to tear down this insulation. I wanted to close my eyes and ears and not listen. Life was fine, I did my work.
That’s the burden that feels so heavy and brings on the existential anxiety, the agitation, and the body aches when we don’t listen to our soul and grow…. as Marianne Williamson puts it… powerful beyond measure.
It’s the dirty pain* of not busting out of our current comfort zone to take the call that’s felt in the undertone of disquietness and agitation. It’s what causes us to wake up feeling incomplete, like we left something on the table.
I listen to the call the best I can, I make tons of mistakes, and I’m often uncomfortable. People have long stopped commenting on my aura, which makes me wonder if it’s shrunk. I’m learning some lessons over again, it seems. But this time with many more tools under my belt and a whole lot more certainty about who I am and what I have to offer. I’ve gone through it before.
When hell is screaming at your door, it’s obvious you have to take care of it. When disquiet is at your door, it’s not so obvious. Hopefully you listen, and you take care of it before hell arrives… sometimes the way it did for me when everything literally blows up, and sometimes in the form of chronic pain, auto-immune issues, or mental illness.
Don’t blow it off. Choose clean pain.*
You’ll know when you’re done with your journey. I promise.
*In life, pain exists. How you deal with it will determine whether or not you experience dirty pain or clean pain. Clean pain is when pain happens and you take care of it. The act of taking care of it is uncomfortable but direct, real-time, clean, honest, and temporary. As singer India Arie says, what did not demolish me simply polished me, now the clearer I can see. The act of avoiding pain is dirty, causing heaviness, confusion, exhaustion, and overwhelm with added layers of pain from self-judgement and shame that refuses to go away until you choose clean pain.
P.S. – I have a question for you that I’m trying to understand better. Will you help? What do you think is the key thing that causes some people to focus on taking the next step vs. feeling the obstacles deeply (and getting stuck in the overwhelm)? If you’re reading this via email, hit reply and let me know your thoughts. If you’re reading this from my site, comment below. Thank you.