2021: And So It Begins

I wrote in my last post that I love new beginnings. There’s an excitement, enthusiasm, joy that comes with new beginnings. It’s the butterflies of anticipation for what is to come. Hindsight 2020, the aftermath of an extremely challenging year, lots of people are looking to 2021 for salvation, insight, reprieve. With a cautious undertone and a bracing smile, I write: And so it begins.

As much as new beginnings are exciting, CHANGE is SCARY! Leaving the familiar behind and taking off to explore the unfamiliar can trigger almost anyone into a traumatic fight, flight or freeze state. Humans being creatures of comfort like predictable, comfortable, routine. Change is just the opposite: unpredictable, uncomfortable, and not routine, YET!

At the crossroads, the precipice, staring straight into the abyss, directly where I need to take the leap of faith, I find my anxiety and insecurities peak. My chest tightens, my throat lumps, my ears ring, vision narrows, my body contracts. At this point, I start to doubt myself, my abilities, my intuitive guidance, because WHAT IF SHIT DOESN’T WORK OUT!? What if this change is BAD? WHAT IF I FAIL? The unknowns of change twirl me into a dizzy.

But then, taking a deep cleaning breath I trust and LET GO! I leap! I SURRENDER! The release of tension is so euphoric, intoxicating, exhilarating. It’s an adrenaline high all it’s own. That’s what I love about change, about NEW BEGINNINGS! For me, at this point, there is nothing left to doubt, knowing the Universe has my back in making the leap, taking the step, making that decision, because as Paulo Coelho writes in The Alchemist,

“When someone makes a decision, he is really diving into a strong current that will carry him to places he had never dreamed of when he first made the decision.”

The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho

Finding yourself at a crossroads, what do you do? Do you fight change with all of your might, your stubbornness raging like a bull with strong will? OR do you surrender? Do you embrace the change, go with the flow, dive deep into the current to see where the change takes you?

I’m quite excited to see where my new beginnings will take me this year. I’m prepared to surrender to the flow, and trust the Universe and the Divine work in my best interests. So, I say, with a smile — the most beautifully strung four words I can imagine: And so it begins!

Hindsight 2020: Shedding My “Conditioning” and Returning To Authenticity

This time last year, I was Ouray, Colorado, with some adventure friends from Philadelphia. I took the day off from climbing to tend to my weakened knee from a bouldering accident, and put my energy into writing for my blog and planning my posts for the upcoming year. I was excited to commit to a personal project, one I had dreamt about for so long. Like any start to a new year (new project, new ANYTHING) there was lots of excitement. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE new beginnings! Innovation, excitement, energy, enthusiasm, exhilaration are just a few words I associate with any new beginning. It’s what brings life energy back to me.

BUT coming back from Ouray to my “normal” daily routine, it became very apparent that this was not going to be my year to work on creative projects. Creativity, true authentic creativity, required outward expansion, when really I needed inward reflection and cleansing. It was finally time to come to terms with my shadow self.

Coming into the New Year, I had just learned about Codependency, reading Codependent No More, by [insert name] and processed the core traumatic incident, the root cause of my codependent nature. Processing that memory, and the emotional energy I carried with me from the incident, left me feeling heavy, deep, RAW. My metaphoric scabs were ripped open and I was left vulnerable. As much as it hurt, I knew from past trauma cleansings that I was healing.

Month after month, I found myself digging in deeper, making a true commitment to my healing. I isolated myself, cut myself off from friends and family, like an injured animal walking off into the woods to tend to its wounds. My isolation coincided perfectly with the collective consciousness shutting down and social distancing for COVID. I couldn’t have asked for a better present from the Universe, divine timing at it’s best!

During that time of isolation, I focused on my mother wounds, my daddy issues, my trust issues with myself, the universe and the divine, I tended to my blocked heart chakra (the reason I felt like I had to hide myself during my healing) through Reiki and therapy. The economic uncertainty following the social distancing orders challenged my “scarcity mindset” and forced me to trust that the Universe wanted me to live in abundance. I “called back” my sacral energy I gave away freely to others, which sparked a flow of creativity I hadn’t seen since college. There was this euphoric feeling that I was closer to the person I had always dreamed to be.

Realizing my worth and untapped potential, I left a toxic work environment which exacerbated my codependency, perfectionism, and people pleasing tendencies. That job left me emotionally exhausted, and resentful, the classic signs of burnout from constantly giving inauthentically. I found a job with a Principal that understood personal trauma, respected boundaries, and a work place that felt emotionally safer.

Due to the safer working environment, my psyche/body decided it was time to start working on the bigger shadow aspects of my personality: trust issues from my abandonment wounds, perfectionism caused by emotional neglect, and people pleasing (the residual effects of my codependency).

Thankfully, after working on my heart chakra and allowing trusted friends into my world of hurt and pain, I was able to talk more openly about what I was processing, and found most of my friends were on a similar healing trajectory. Discussing these shadow aspects with friends allowed me to feel less isolated, less alone.

What does this mean for 2021?

All of this deep healing and shadow work over the course of 2020 allowed me to get closer to my authentic self, and align with my higher self. My past conditioning: the codependency, the abandonment, the lack of trust, perfectionism, scarcity mindset, were all preventing me from living as my authentic and empowered self. Shedding the conditioning from my past, rooted in survival, allows me to now focus on thriving. I can’t expect to thrive with the same social conditioning and behaviors used to purely survive.

Now I can work towards outward expansion, creating authentically, not from a place of ego but from a deep desire to share my ideas with others. The creativity is rooted in connectedness and collective healing, not individualism and personal gain. I find myself being more playful, curious, imaginative, and wanting to help others from a place of genuine generosity.

I am thankful and feel blessed to have experienced the past year of personal trials, triggers, challenges and lessons. I’m better for it, and its helped me to get back to, well, ME! #thrivingnotsurviving #abundancemindset #higherself #authenticself