a letter to my friends (speaking my truth part 2)

Dear Friends,

I know I haven’t been the greatest friend lately. It used to be that you’d email me, and I’d respond right away. I might even answer my phone, or call you back in a timely manner. But something shifted when I quit my job last summer. Removing such a central element of life – one that had been in place a very long time – affected everything else, in ways I wasn’t expecting.

I’d quit my job with big ideas of future career directions…starting a business and finally being my own boss. I would be doing the kind of work I’d always done, I was good at it, and the demand for my services was high. It was a no brainer.

But it seems the universe had other ideas, and removing my 9-5 created the space for it to show me something else. Spending so much time with my own self, with nowhere I ‘had’ to be, plunged me deeper into my spiritual journey.

Quitting wasn’t just about becoming an entrepreneur, I now see. It was about aligning me with my authenticity and integrity. It was showing me those long forgotten places my true desires lay buried. Was this new venture something I really wanted to do every day? Or was it a more palatable variation of something that had never made my heart sing?

I see more clearly where I’ve been compromising myself in life, particularly in relationships. Most of you, my dear friends, haven’t seen the whole me – what I’m truly passionate about, what I deeply believe, what I want to do in this world, the role of the Divine Feminine in my life. I’ve compared myself to a lot of you, wondering why it’s taking me so long to get where you are. I haven’t fully understood the power of what’s taken place within.

We live in a material, 3D world where much of the planet is operating in fear, scarcity, and doing what’s always been done. It’s not ‘real’ if we can’t see or prove it. This mass consciousness is like a magnet, and we often get sucked into its programming, losing our hope and momentum to create a new paradigm based on love, interconnection, and empowerment.

The necessity to pay my rent is a reality, and I’ve been fortunate to have small jobs these past few months to get me by. But I’m hesitant to find something more permanent; intuitively it feels like a slippery slope. Months can easily turn into years, and I don’t want to act from fear and survival, putting myself in the same situation I was before. Doing something that doesn’t resonate with my soul takes an energetic toll that’s difficult to articulate.

What kind of work do I really want to do? What does it look and feel like? Do I believe it’s possible, that I’m capable and ready? Can I charge for it? Will people actually pay? Do I need more training? Am I good enough? What if I fail…exposed as an imposter?

Stop. Breathe.

If I don’t value my work, I won’t find those who will. There is a sense of urgency that compromising, in any form, is no longer an option. This planet is shifting and consciousness is evolving. Transformation and intensity are the norm, and the universe is ramping up what doesn’t serve. We can no longer fake it!

Many of us stand at a crossroads. We’re on the verge of something big, but we don’t have all the information. Sometimes all we have is a tiny shred of hope, and we must hang on to it with all our might. We’re creating a new reality in every moment, with every thought we think and action we take. It takes major courage to unhook from the old and put our faith and trust into something so brand new.

The more I speak my truth, the more I find others who are speaking theirs. And it’s a beautiful thing! This is the ultimate act of self-love…expressing our true selves because we value what is within us.

Friends, I’ve been given myself some much needed space and solitude. But I’m slowly emerging from my cocoon. Ready to show up as the real me, as she’s being revealed. Ready to see the real you in my reflection.

blog? what blog?

Life looks very different than it did just a few short months ago. Since wrapping up my job in September, things seem to be changing – internally and externally – at warp speed.

I have to say that these last weeks of 2014 have been some of the most eye-opening and emotionally intense in recent years.  I completed a school program, cleaned up messes and restored integrity with loved ones (this seems to be ongoing!), had an old flame contact me after years of distance, landed part-time work in a completely new field, started my own business with a dear friend, and met some amazing people who will undoubtedly play a significant role in 2015.

In all this, blogging took a backseat. And I’ve missed it!

Image courtesy of Vaughan Lewis

Image courtesy of Vaughan Lewis.

I remember sensing that once I quit my job, other aspects of my life would also change. And I don’t mean this on a purely physical level. Giving up my easy, cushy 9-5 was telling the universe that I trusted there is something more to life than the routine I’d become so accustomed to. It was saying – ‘I may be crazy, but I’m willing to take that risk. What could life really be like?’

I won’t lie that for the first few weeks after quitting, I was seriously second-guessing my decision. I realized that I deeply missed the structure my job provided.  Not the actual work, but having somewhere to go. My walks to and from work, and the daily coffee joint with the other ‘regulars’. Socializing with my friends and colleagues. Feeling like I was contributing to something.

I’m now appreciating the total responsibility I have for creating my entire life. It’s the first time in many years where it’s 100% up to me to plan my day.  I miss the structure of my old job? Well then, I must implement my own structure. It’s really that simple. (It’s our stories that make things complicated!)

Starting my own business has brought up a lot of stuff – excitement, fear, creativity, and doubt, to name a few.  But at this point there is no turning back. There’s a sense of urgency in the air and I know many of us are feeling it. Time is speeding up, and one year could easily turn into five.

If not now, then when? How do I want to design my life? And what am I actually doing to create that? In these last few weeks I’ve had to be really honest with myself about my procrastination tendencies…well, that’s another post. Suffice it to say that the universe supports me, but it’s not just going to pick me up and plop me into a new life without any action on my part. I need to give it something to work with! This is the power we have as creators. This is where our mettle is tested. Where I walk my talk.

***

On a different note, when I was in Bologna in 2013 I met a lovely couple from my hometown, and since we’d travelled to the same places in Italy, they kindly sent me their beautiful photos. Just recently I received a Christmas greeting from them.  I was immediately drawn to one of the pictures attached.  It was taken in Tulum, Mexico at a Catholic church on December 12, the Dìa de la Virgen de Guadaloupe.  There is a whole history behind the association of Mexican Catholicism and Aboriginal spirituality, but I personally was transfixed by the image of the mother and daughter, and the colours and feathers. To me the photo symbolizes the passing down of feminine knowledge and the role of the divine feminine on planet earth at this time. I knew there was a message for me here. And it has something to do with 2015.

With that I will say ciao – and that it’s good to be back! Wishing everyone a love-filled, creative, and inspiring new year.

 

 

 

 

september: it’s showtime!

Thank you to my blogger friends Rob and Sindy for their tweets inquiring as to my whereabouts, and to Linda for her recent award nomination of my blog!

It’s true; I have been very quiet lately. After my last post, the urge to blog had disappeared completely. It was strange – I felt I had no words in me. In addition to that, for the last couple of weeks things have been changing at such warp speed. I’ve been so busy preparing for what’s coming next that I haven’t had the time or focus for blogging.

expansionnowopen

Probably the most monumental thing that happened for me in August was participating in the Landmark Forum. This is not your ordinary personal growth workshop. Over three intensive days, my beliefs about my life and the world were brought to my consciousness in a very powerful way. It’s difficult to articulate just how profound this experience was. Suffice it to say that I was able to express myself on a level I never could before. And this has transformed everything.

During that weekend, I had heartfelt and genuine conversations with my mom, dad, and sister. Conversations that once seemed impossible (or, more accurately, conversations I didn’t even know I wanted to have.) Conversations in which I let them see who I really am and how I really feel, which on some level I’d always hid from them. Conversations where I could barely speak through my tears, apologizing for the toxic blame and resentment I’ve carried within, and the unrealistic expectations I have held of them.

This has been incredibly freeing for me, and the timing of it all was so synchronistic, given that my job is finishing in two weeks and I am making some big plans for the future. I’m seeing how everything in my life is so interconnected. Suppressing who I am in one area affects all areas. If I can’t express my true self to my family and friends, how can I express it to the world? To step onto that larger stage, take risks, and feel safe and confident?

***

So what is on the horizon for me? My plans include studying digital communications for a couple of months at a local university (maybe I’ll finally understand twitter!), and starting my own business with a friend and former co-worker. She and I have been discussing this venture for months, and had spent many an hour at the office sharing our vision for what we want to create. (She quit a few weeks ago.) We are ready to go for it!

This summer has been full of activity – planning, connecting, preparing – and now is the time to ACT. Landmark powerfully cleared away so many stories, interpretations, and meanings I’d concocted about my life, other people, and what I am capable of. It gave me the deep understanding that those stories were never ‘real’ to begin with. It took away my sense that life is a series of problems to be fixed, and delivered the epiphany that there is nothing fundamentally ‘wrong’ with me or my life.

I am seeing everything with new eyes, and this is invaluable as I take my next steps. Yes, it does feel stressful and it does feel challenging. But it also feels electric, intriguing, and alive. I have been craving these feelings for a long time.

working for joy

I was very inspired and moved by the supportive comments from my last post on quitting my job. It seems there are many of us who are disconnected from our work, and we are longing for something more.

I was also happy to discover those readers and friends who’ve jumped the employment ship and never looked back! I’ve heard stories of challenge and uncertainty, yes…but not one of regret.

One thing’s for sure – quitting my job has definitely brought up my up core beliefs surrounding money.

I often hear things like ‘Money is energy’ and ‘We live in an abundant universe’, where ‘There is more than enough to go around’ and ‘It’s our birthright’ to have everything we desire. Being a big Abraham Hicks fan, I’ve found myself thinking and speaking these same thoughts. And I have felt the freedom, joy, and expansion in them.

But in many moments I don’t feel this way and I wonder…on a deeper level, do I really believe these concepts? I mean really, truly believe them?

I’m being very aware of my money stories – those deep beliefs I’ve carried my whole life – because I’m so vulnerable to their powerful influence right now. Beliefs like ‘There’s only so much to go around’ or ‘You can’t get paid for doing what you love’ or ‘To have a lot of money isn’t spiritual’. And ‘How can I ask for more, when most others have so much less?’

It’s as if there are two Aleya’s battling it out inside me. The one with the limiting thoughts, and the other who sees those thoughts as reflections of old consciousness. The latter me would like to believe that as we evolve and transform, so do our views and experiences of abundance – not just individually, but for humanity at large.

When we live in scarcity consciousness, it permeates everything. But scarcity is not just about money. It is also about love, trust, and security. ‘Not enough’ becomes our dominant paradigm when something fundamental – beyond the material – is missing in our lives.

Noticing and appreciating all my abundance, in its many different forms, is essential. For example, last week I received a ‘random’ email from an acquaintance offering me a complimentary invitation to an event featuring women discussing shakti (divine feminine energy, power) and ahimsa (non-injury).

I brought my notebook and took notes as each woman spoke. I felt inspired and in awe to be in their presence. I would love to do more of this, I thought. To find similar events and interview such women, sharing their wisdom and insights.

As soon as my mind turned to how I could ‘get paid’ for this, I tensed up. And I realized that in doing more of the things I love – enjoying them for the actual experiences and not the result – I probably wouldn’t focus so much on money per se. And this, in turn, would allow more of these experiences to flow into my life. Money can never substitute for the deep meaning and satisfaction that comes from feeding our soul.

It’s good to examine our core beliefs. But there comes a point where we’ve exhausted our analyses, and we know that nothing new or revolutionary is going to come from repeating our old stories.

I don’t know that my core beliefs can disappear overnight, but I’m hoping that shining a spotlight on them releases their hold on me.

11 reasons i quit my comfy job

It’s sinking in that I’ve quit my job. There is no turning back; my employer has advertised my position and the wheels are in motion. Though I don’t regret my decision, I have my anxious moments! So it seems appropriate to remind myself why I made this choice.

rubbing juliet's bosom for luck in verona, italy.

rubbing juliet’s bosom for luck in verona, italy. work your magic!

1. ‘Reality’ was cementing. My day became a fixed routine, going through the same motions over and over. A feeling that ‘This Is Reality’ was lodging into my cells. I know that over time, it would have sunk in deeper. And it would become harder to leave.

2. Where do I want to be in a year? Questions like this have always stumped me, because I’ve viewed them in terms of externals…job, geographic location, living situation. Instead, I began to think about how I wanted to feel in one year. Vibrant. Vital. Proud. Excited about life. Energized. Staying where I was would only lead me in the opposite direction. It was already happening.

3. My body was telling me to leave. In the last year especially, I could feel my energy weakening and my body becoming tired and depressed. It’s always been much easier for me to listen to my head than my body. But it got to a point where I felt very strongly that if I didn’t leave, the decision would be made for me. And I didn’t want to take that risk.

I’m the only one who suffers when I don’t listen to my own voice and intuition.

4. I was stagnating. The comfy jobs can be the hardest to leave because there’s a long list of convincing reasons to stay. But when you’re reminding yourself daily why you ‘should’ be there, it’s not a good sign.

We have to be vigilant with what we tell ourselves, and where that voice comes from. Because ‘comfort’ can also mean lack of growth. And it’s a clever disguise for fear. What about uncertainty, the unknown…and the creativity, aliveness, and excitement that comes with it? I’ve forgotten what that feels like!

5. I have nothing to lose. When I really examined my fears, I realized they were all manageable and, in some cases, irrational (survival-based).

What’s the worst that can happen? I can’t pay my rent? I have friends and family that would take me in. I can’t afford food? Said friends and family would never let me go hungry. I regret giving up my job? Doubtful, but I would deal with it. (And, having that clarity, probably find something better as a result.)

6. I was living in creative and financial debt. When we’re not doing work that creatively fuels us, we compensate for it in other ways. We eat out, we drink, we shop. And the ego may be sneaky here – because we can over-spend on ‘healthy’ stuff too!

I’m tired of the hamster wheel I’ve been running for years. I am totally okay with living minimally, if there is authenticity, inspiration, and creativity to balance it out. That being said:

7. I’m allowed to ask more from life. I’m very aware of the negative self-talk I’ve been feeding myself over the years. Self-defeating thoughts such as ‘There’s only so much to go around’ or ‘Good jobs are hard to come by’ or ‘ Things could be a lot worse’ have only discouraged me from finding what would truly make my heart sing.

So many of us are affected by tired old self-sabotaging thoughts. And it has to stop.

time to feel some colour

time to feel some colour

8. I’m shifting with the cosmos. There’s so much talk about the expansion of consciousness and humanity during these times, and the assistance (seen and unseen) that is available to us in creating what we want. But do I really believe it?

Well, I’m choosing to believe it now. Trusting in the expansion, and surrendering to all the divine guidance that’s available.

9. I wasn’t serving in a way that felt good to me. I need to feel like I’ve made a difference, that the work I’ve done is meaningful and has had some positive impact.

I know that we can be of service in many ways, and that it doesn’t have to be some big grandiose thing. But my work must reflect who I am and what my values are. It can’t just be about me, me, me.

10. When this changes, so will all else. Removing one central element of life naturally recalibrates all other elements. Everything must shift to accommodate that change. This doesn’t mean things fall apart – they just re-organize. And probably for the better.

11. I was resenting my job instead of having gratitude. My job has been wonderful in so many ways, and I will always be grateful for the people I worked with. I don’t ever want to lose sight of what it clarified for me. I wouldn’t have stayed so long, if the people weren’t fabulous!

***

At the end of the day…this is not just about the job! Making this decision has applied to so many areas of my life. This is about ALL the beliefs and behaviours that we know we need to let go of, but haven’t been able to.

I can feel how much of myself I have been suppressing, and ultimately I’m relieved. And I must remember this feeling in moments of self-doubt.

follow the excitement

After my powerful women’s circle a few weeks ago, I had a conversation with my good friend L. about our individual ways of knowing.

There’s no doubt that within the circle, I’d felt very connected to who I really am, to my essence. Moreover, it felt clear that my life’s work does not involve sitting behind a desk all day in a windowless office, coordinating processes and procedures that have little personal relevance to me.

But where in my body was I feeling this clear connection to self, this resonance with my truth? I didn’t necessarily feel it in my heart, or in my mind, or in any bodily sensation. It was just an overall feeling of…rightness. It was an absence of resistance, rigidity, and tension. It was Me, stripped of any outside roles.

I used to think that my intuition must speak to me in some really obvious way. I’d try to feel things in my heart, or in my third eye, or wherever else I thought I ‘should’ feel something – usually based on what others felt. And when I didn’t, I figured my intuition wasn’t very strong.

But as I told L after the gathering, maybe those aren’t my ways of knowing.

When I initially saw the women’s circle advertised in my Facebook feed, I just knew I had to take part, in the same way I immediately knew I wanted to enrol in a ‘Foundations of Conscious Leadership’ course offered around that same time. There was no second-guessing; my desire to participate in both was like a laser-beam. Sharp and focused, bypassing my analytical mind completely. No room for doubt. Yes.

These things excited me. There was a sense of aliveness and intrigue. And this excitement is my knowing.

Excitement moves things and shakes the universe up, irresistibly compelling it to work with us.

In a recent post I mentioned that, by total fluke, I’ve become the organizer of my high school reunion. (Let me be clear – I was not the party planner high school!) What literally started as a joke a few months ago has now become a hugely fun side project for me, sparking an interest I had no idea existed: I enjoy event planning!

I love making connections and seeing things come together. I like making s*** happen! I’ve been using my creative faculties in ways I wouldn’t have anticipated, and it’s because the universe put a cleverly disguised opportunity in my path – one I could’ve easily ignored.

***

So whenever I find myself saying ‘I don’t know what I want’ – and I’ve done that a lot, especially when I feel stuck in situations that don’t seem to be moving – I will remember these events of late. And know that I didn’t have to do anything to make them happen. In fact, I couldn’t have done anything, because they just kinda showed up unexpectedly.

I must follow my excitement and be open to things looking totally different from what I’ve been conditioned to believe is possible or likely. Opportunities can show up in the most random of ways, if we only have the curious eyes to see.

And we can trust that the universe is merely showing us what is already within.

 

Image credit: Rob Scharein, with my modifications

the intensity of april

I’ve been reading a lot of messages lately about the intense, cosmically-charged month of April.  This is said to be a time when universal energies are massively supporting us in pursuing our deepest desires and dreams. These same energies can cause us severe discomfort if we continue to operate from fear and old patterns.

I try to be discerning when it comes to New Age (for lack of a better term) channellings and predictions…but I’m feelin’ it so far!

a new dawn

a new dawn

I had a mini meltdown at work last week.  I almost broke down in tears in front of my boss – that’s never happened – and told him I needed to take the next day off for the sake of my mental health (that’s also never happened).

I’ve written about my work situation before, so I won’t repeat myself here.  Suffice it to say, it’s getting harder and harder to engage in work I’m not connected to on a deep level.

When your body feels heavier and heavier the closer you get to work, it’s probably time to leave.  When you’re crying in your office, it’s probably time to leave. When you’re getting progressively snappy with clients you actually like, it’s probably time to leave.

When you know it’s not going to get any better…it’s time to leave.

***

On some level I’ve carried a belief that what I ‘do’ on the outside shouldn’t matter.  That is, if I am truly aligned with spirit – with joy, with my true essence – then what I do for employment is irrelevant.  To be ‘spiritual’ means you can be at peace in any situation, right? Otherwise – your happiness is contingent on some external circumstance.

There is some truth to that. But could it also be ego, in clever disguise?  If the soul wants to express, and it’s the soul’s nature to express and expand – what does it do to us, to contain and suppress that massive force?  It becomes an internal war. We constantly fight our soul’s desire, because ‘this is reality’ and ‘there are bills to pay’. We know there’s a bigger vision for us, but we tell ourselves to ‘get over it’, because ‘things could be a lot worse’.

What makes it especially challenging is that the soul’s vision is often far subtler than the ‘facts’ of our current reality.

We have in our collective consciousness the lingering belief that suffering is somehow noble and spiritual.  That struggle marks a meaningful life.  Sometimes feeling good – the idea of having our dreams come true – seems too easy.

Many of us also carry a deep sense of unworthiness.  How do we even begin creating the life of our dreams?  It’s entirely new territory, with no roadmap.  Even the baby steps seem monumental, if we have a core belief that we don’t deserve what we want most.

So what to do?

***

Mass consciousness likes having a plan. It believes it’s impractical and irrational to give up security when you don’t have something concrete to replace it with.

But a new language is developing.  What I take from these messages of April is that it’s becoming easier to access our soul’s desire, dialogue with it, and learn how it wants to create.  I’m seeing where I have hid behind fear and excuses, masked as ‘facts’, to avoid the risk and discomfort that comes with radical change.

Things are shifting as more humans awaken to their true essence and its desire to express.  Concepts of  ‘struggle’, ‘unworthiness’, and ‘karma’ are becoming very tiresome for me personally.  It’s time for something new!  I am seeing glimmers of hope and brightness for greater possibilities in my own life, and I know many others are feeling it for themselves too.

Don’t get me wrong – it’s not easy to delve deep into our dark places and transform old conditioning.  We may feel lonely and cut-off from a world that isn’t very familiar with soul, essence, intuition, and multidimensionality.  But as more of us learn to speak and trust this new language, we gather strength in numbers.  In this way we create the new reality.

Bring it on, April.