Cultivating Radical Vulnerability

Cultivating Radical Vulnerability

It’s taken me a very long time to get comfortable with vulnerability. I knew what it was as a concept a long time ago when I wrote my first post about it, but I hadn’t yet put it into practice.

In that post, I wrote:

The truth is, expressing one’s vulnerability is the epitome of strength and courage. It takes far more strength to be open and vulnerable than it does to be hard and emotionless.

Being vulnerable is absolutely the ultimate show of strength, because it requires fearlessness and being vulnerable is usually the thing we fear the most.

I’ve been cultivating that kind of vulnerability for about four years now. It began with me writing a few emails to an ex from college and being honest, for the first time, about what I was really going through, how I really felt, and the kind of impact our interactions had on me.

Funny story about that first email…I knew I had to write it. I could feel my guides pushing me to do it, if for no other reason than to be an exercise in vulnerability. So I wrote it and I held onto it. For a full week, I read it. I edited it. I read it again. I changed it again. I was buying myself time before detonating the bomb. One night, I was laying in bed once again rereading the message on my phone, just to be sure it was what I really wanted to say when my cat jumped into bed with me, got all up in my face, walked across the screen of my phone and landed her paw squarely on the send button.

“Oh god…”

First I laughed. Then I panicked. Then I laughed. Then I panicked. Then I dropped my phone on the floor and beat my face into the mattress for a solid 30 seconds (which lasts much longer than you would expect until your face is actually planted into one).

Divine intervention via furball was not how I thought I would go down.

Much to my surprise, impending doom never came. Four months went by with no response and when a message from him finally did land in my inbox on Christmas Eve, it was about four sentences in length, full of completely surface level niceties, and not a word was uttered about the email that had been sent four months earlier. And, mind you, this was the first time I’d heard from him in about three years.

That’s how the vast majority of my experiences with radical vulnerability have gone down ever since. It’s either me pitching the raw truth of myself into a black void of nothingness, or a complete and total inability to handle it and a quick shut down. Such is my experience with relationships. But with each outpouring of the real me, and with every lack of response or stalwart rejection, I’ve become less and less reliant on the approval of the other person, and more accepting of myself. Not even just accepting… I’ve started to actually LOVE the real me.

The qualities that I once thought were points of weakness or sources of shame, I slowly began to see in a different light.

I was once afraid to tell someone that I loved them for fear that they didn’t feel the same way. It felt shameful to me, somehow, to have that kind of feeling for someone who didn’t reciprocate it. And when I realized that I couldn’t make that feeling go away or shut it off, but I also couldn’t make the other person feel the same way, no matter how much of myself I gave away to try and fit whatever mold I thought they’d be more apt to accept, it left me trapped in a place of eternal suffering. For most of my life, this was the only way I had ever experienced love. It was synonymous with agony and I began to wonder if it was even possible to separate the two. Hence why my personal journal was titled, “La Douleur Exquise,” or, the exquisite pain.

Urban Dictionary:

la douleur exquise

The exquisite pain of wanting someone that you know you can never have, and knowing that you will still try to be with them. Has drug like effects.

Kate: So you’ll sleep with him and then you’ll hate him for sleeping with you and hate yourself for doing it?

Lauren: Yea. I’m psyched.

That just about sums it up. Codependency, in a nutshell.

For a while, I thought I was an emotional masochist. I couldn’t stop feeling what I felt and the shame of that drove me to hate myself. Or, as quoted from one of those emails I mentioned earlier, “At one point I thought, ‘This would be so much easier if I could just hate him.’ But I couldn’t. Not even remotely. So I hated me instead.”

I hated myself for not being ‘good enough’ for love. I hated myself for loving someone who didn’t love me back. I hated myself for my inability to control that emotion. And so, for the longest of times, I kept my heart locked away in a safe little metaphorical metal box where it would never have to bare the shame of being unworthy to receive the kind of love I was willing to give.

Then one day, I decided to face that fear head on. I imagined myself telling him that I loved him, and I made myself sit and imagine how it would feel to have him tell me that he didn’t love me. I nearly had a panic attack during the process, but, watching myself do this from almost a third person perspective, I kept saying to myself, “It’s ok. It’s ok. It’s ok.” In that moment, my perspective shifted and I saw love in a very different way. I was finally able to recognize that love – real, unconditional love – is not born from approval found outside of yourself. Real love is something that comes from inside of you, from a limitless source that you can’t imagine. It’s unconditional, and it’s the greatest gift that you have to give another human being, and to the world.

That kind of love is unearthed and embodied only through radical vulnerability.

People talk about oversharing as a red flag. Emotional vomit, it’s been termed. But that isn’t vulnerability. That comes from a place of need and manipulation. Real vulnerability comes from a place of self acceptance and raw authenticity.

Only as I’ve been practicing radical vulnerability in my daily life have I begun to notice just how out of touch with self the rest of the world is, and just how horrifying most people find the thought of it. Rejection hurts, certainly. All any of us really wants is to be seen, accepted, and loved regardless of who we are or were. But the more comfortable I become with who I was and who I am, the less it stings.

I’m solid with my beliefs. I enjoy my magick. And I even love how it feels and the way I express myself when I’m being vulnerable. I love that feeling. It used to terrify me. It felt like being naked in a room full of people. Now it feels amazing. Like being naked in a room full of people. 🙂 But being naked in a room full of people isn’t amazing for everyone, whether it’s you or them that’s been stripped down. And those are the people who are going to balk at how you stand tall and comfortable in your own vulnerability.

You’ll know you’ve reached that place of radical authenticity and vulnerability when they balk, and instead of giving them a middle finger up the left nostril like you used to back when you were an emotionally immature thundercunt, you respond from a place of peace, compassion, and understanding that they’re just not ready for someone like you yet, and that’s ok. Because you and your radically vulnerable self have a heart that is an endless well of love for all things, most importantly, you. And you even have enough to pass some of it on to the person who couldn’t handle the all of you, and that’s ok, too.

Why should we even care to be vulnerable in this way? Why would we not? It’s exhausting, constantly pretending to be someone else, hiding parts of yourself to make other people comfortable. Imagine all of the ridiculous manipulation and confusion you could eliminate out of your daily life if you were just HONEST about your thoughts, feelings, experiences, identity, and intentions? The efficiency freak in me loves to cut to the chase. My blunt south node revels in the idea of brute honesty. The old sage in me loves sharing experiences with a grain of wisdom. And my heart is married to the concept of just being myself.

One day, hopefully sooner rather than later, I’ll find a guy who, after seeing my most intimate and raw self, instead of balking or clamming up, will step back and say, “God damn. I want that.” He’ll be the only other naked person in the room. Until then, I’ll keep pitching love bombs into black holes, waiting to see if anything comes back from other side of the universe.

In case you are wondering, my personal journal title has since been updated to, “And Then She Flew” as of a few months ago. I decided it was time to put old ghosts to rest, and old beliefs out to pasture. Love and pain are not one and the same, and I’m no longer completely at the mercy of the latter. The former, however, she is not a cruel mistress. No, not at all. She’s a much finer muse than pain could ever hope to be.

The Healing Spiral

The Healing Spiral

Last August, when I was spending most of my days laying in bed staring at the ceiling and barely able to function, I asked my friend Teresa to do a reading for me (she’s awesome, by the way, and if you’re interested in booking a session with her, you can visit her website here. I built it 🙂 ). I needed some some serious guidance and I was in no condition to go and find it for myself.

A lot of great information came out of that reading, but most relevant to this blog post was that she told me I was processing and releasing a lot of old karmic energy, not just from this life, but from many. She said I was doing a lot of it subconsciously and while I slept (which was a lot) and that’s why I was so detached and ungrounded. She also told me it was going to last for about nine months. You can imagine the look on my face.

In my early attempts at networking last October, I met up with another woman here locally who does reiki and she, too, told me that I was going to be working through a lot of things all the way through April.

It’s now April, and we’re at just around the nine month mark. Healing is not a linear process, but rather, an upward spiral of sorts. You process things cyclically and each time it comes around, you peel back another layer and get closer to your core. That’s certainly been true for me over the last several months, and I do feel like I’m starting to reach the pinnacle of it all. Finally.

The last three weeks or so I’ve really focused on doing some crystal and energy healing on myself, which isn’t really something I’ve done much of in the past – at least not on my own. I’ve enlisted my friend Tara for some really powerful long-distance energy sessions here and there, which have helped greatly, but I’d never sincerely attempted to do much for myself, until now.

As things have progressed over the last few months, I’ve become so much more self aware, and as that’s happened, I’ve become a thousand times more energetically sensitive. I pay more attention now to what triggers me and I am better at figuring out where it comes from. I pay attention to where in my body I feel certain things – anxiety, fear, etc. – whether it’s coming from my heart, my upper stomach or lower stomach. I’m also more proactive about addressing it and working through it.

A lot of that proactivity has involved energy healing sessions over the last few weeks that have had really incredible results. Only recently have I actually been able to have emotional releases during a session. Usually they don’t happen until the day after, but these last few, I’ve have two to three every time.

The first one I did was focused on inner-child healing and trauma release. I knew this one was a big one for me – it is for just about everyone, and it’s often the root cause of a lot of our fears and self misconceptions later in life.

 

I struggle a lot with feeling secure in relationships and making deep connections with other people. Some of this is related to past life traumas, and some of it comes from childhood stuff. I can’t really pinpoint anything specific, but I know it because of some common themes that have come up in my dreams over the last couple of years about feeling alone and unwanted.

One in particular, I think the timing was pretty significant. It was the night of my birthday in 2016. My dad had forgotten my birthday for the second year in a row. My grandmother, who was one of the people who would never forget my birthday, died earlier that year. That night, I had this dream:

I was in this house with a woman and her daughter. The living room was covered in clutter, and it was all stuff that belonged to her little girl, but they were things her mother bought for her.

The mother asked me to pack things for the girl, or clean them up, I can’t remember. As I was looking through it all, I thought, “This is all completely useless. There’s nothing in here that she needs. Why would you even buy her this?”

Then the mother became overwhelmed by all of the useless shit that she’d bought her daughter and decided she wanted to get rid of her.

The little girl looked at me and asked, “Why does no one want me?” And I said, “It’s not your fault,” and I began to explain to her that her mother was upset about all the things she’d bought her and taking it out on her. Then I woke up.

While I was in the middle of this inner-child healing session, I saw the same little girl. I knew she was me, even back when I had the dream. But here she was again. I saw myself hugging her.

I posted on my Facebook page last week about being the person you needed when you were younger.

That’s a behavior that I’ve actively cultivated in myself over the last couple of years. It’s too easy to tear yourself down. That’s why we do it so frequently. It’s a lot harder to give yourself the kind of compassion you needed when you were young and vulnerable.

At the end of that session, I felt happy for the first time in a long time. But I wasn’t done yet.

A few days later, I did a couple more sessions that focused mostly on my sacral chakra and I was surprised at how many past life traumas came up (just like Teresa said). I did one on Tuesday and I saw myself being stabbed in the abdomen with a sword, and also having my stomach cut open to deliver a baby. I died both times.

A lot of times, I can feel that there’s something I need to work through I just don’t know what it is, exactly, so I’ll pull some oracle cards or tarot cards to help me pinpoint it. Even if they don’t make sense immediately, I’ll typically start to understand it once I start to focus.

For Tuesday’s session I drew cards about boundaries in relationships and the need to cleanse. Boundaries, of course, are related to the sacral chakra, and I already knew I had a lot of work to do there, anyway, so it made total sense.

Last night I drew several cards about seeing my true self and feminine energy. I seem to consistently injure myself on the left side – I almost cut the end of my finger off with a kitchen knife within three days of moving here. Left hand. My hip and lower back on the left side have been giving me a lot of trouble since early 2017 and I fell down icy stairs in front of my apartment, which severely aggravated it. And yesterday on my way home, my shoe somehow slipped on dry concrete and I fell and gashed my left knee open, and stabbed the same finger on my left hand that I cut on a chain link fence.

The left side of the body is considered the feminine side. My feminine side has had the shit beaten out of it, emotionally and physically, both by myself and by others over the years. And in more recent time, as I’ve learned to be more in-tune with that energy, I’ve given a lot of it away in my relationships, which is the kind of self-sacrificing behavior that is indicative of imbalance.

So, during last night’s session, I called all of my energy back to me from all of the people I’ve given too much of myself to over my lifetime. In some instances, it was hard to do. Some of them didn’t want to let go, and it was very emotional. In a sense, it was like giving myself a cord cutting (in case you aren’t familiar with cords, they are energetic attachments created between you and another person with whom you have an emotionally intimate relationship. Particularly when these relationships end badly, they can remain and cause confusion and emotional entanglement on a subconscious level).

After all of this releasing, it feels like I’m starting to reach the top of the spiral. I see myself more clearly and I have a healthier relationship with myself, most importantly. This cycle is finally wrapping up, and perhaps one day in the very near future, a new adventure can begin.

Baby Steps

Baby Steps

Iposted this to my Facebook group already, but thought it was worth sharing (and adding to) for the blog. This is going to sound really silly to some of you, I’m sure, but I just reached a really big personal care milestone.

I’ve had a lot of hip/lower back issues since 2015 and they have been getting progressively worse, particularly since I moved. I’ve also had very limited flexibility in my right hip, probably even longer than 2015.

I first noticed it when giving myself a pedicure/clipping toenails. I could bring my left foot almost up to my chest, no problem, but I couldn’t get my right foot anywhere close.

Since January of 2016, I started making a serious effort to stretch on a fairly regular basis.

I just noticed today that I was able to almost bring my right foot up the same way I can my other leg. It only took two years.

The thing is, I’ve had to learn how to make time to take care of myself. I used to put things like this off because I had work to do, or things to clean (all of which boiled down to taking care of other people before myself). I always told myself that whatever I needed could wait. Until it couldn’t wait anymore, and I was (still am) consistently in pain, started losing my hair, and my immune system crashed and I was sick with a respiratory infection for 10 out of 18 months between 2016 and 2017, and got the stomach flu for the first time in 13 years.

I had to learn how to prioritize my own needs and stop sacrificing them for the benefit of other people. I’m still learning, but I’m getting better at it. And, as you know, that prioritization created a lot of really big life changes for me.

Additionally, I’ve been taking vitamins for hair growth since November to try and get some of my hair back, and I noticed this weekend that I have a lot of baby hairs growing in. And it is very much like baby hair – all crazy different lengths. Which is why I cut off my hair this weekend to allow it all to catch up.

 

My next big project is to allow myself to spend money on myself without feeling guilty.

Whiskey, Neat, With A Shot of Vulnerability

Whiskey, Neat, With A Shot of Vulnerability

Aspent my weekend drinking. And I drank a LOT. I think my alcohol tolerance has finally started to build back up. There for a while I could only do two drinks before feeling completely hungover. I have instituted a hydration rule – I drink A LOT of water. So much so that the bar tender and bar back at my neighborhood watering hole know to keep my water glass filled.

“Ash, this doesn’t sound very spiritual…” you’re probably saying to yourself. I know. A lot of people think that. I met with a girl who does reiki a few weeks ago and mentioned something and she was immediately like, “Not to be a mom or anything, but you probably shouldn’t be doing that. It’s bad for you.”

Honestly, I enjoy a glass of wine. Or a bottle, if I’m having a good night. And here’s the other thing about all that drinking I did over the weekend – I connected with people on a deep level. People who were carrying pain that needed to be let out and healed, my own self included.

I find it humorous, the number of times that people I have conversations with observe, “Wow. That got really deep, really fast.” That’s not common for them, but it’s common for me. That’s where I live.

Maybe my presence gives them permission to explore parts of themselves they wouldn’t otherwise be comfortable exploring. Maybe they learn something about vulnerability from me. Maybe the alcohol allows them to let their guard down just enough to be vulnerable and my demeanor makes them feel safe in doing so. Maybe the bar is my unconventional therapy office.

The universe must agree with me, since I somehow magically manifested free drinks ALL DAY LONG on Sunday. The bar tender at brunch accidentally made an extra drink. The next bartender poured the wrong glass of wine for another customer and gave it to me. The next bar tender gave us all free shots. And then the owner of the bar gave me another glass of wine on the house after I told her about my psycho dad ambushing me in a BBQ restaurant parking lot to give me an exorcism.

In the end, all humans want to connect with each other on a deep level. We’re just afraid to. We’re afraid to put ourselves out there because we’re afraid of what other people will think of us, or how they’ll react… so we don’t put ourselves out there at all. Until we get a couple of drinks in us and our defense mechanisms are slightly lowered.

Vulnerability typically results in one of two reactions:

#1: The other person gets really uncomfortable, avoids engaging, changes the subject, or completely disappears.

This person isn’t comfortable with vulnerability and it has nothing to do with you. They aren’t ready to be vulnerable, themselves. They haven’t opened the trap door in their soul and taken a good, long, hard look at what’s living in the shadows.

#2: The other person shows real empathy, and in many cases, reciprocates vulnerability.

This person may not necessarily be comfortable being vulnerable, but by doing it yourself, you’ve just given them permission to open up. You’ve proved to them that you’re not going to judge them, because you’ve just demonstrated that you know how it feels. You’re holding space for them.

I’ve been on both ends of that. When I first moved here, I was trying to make friends using Bumble BFF. I met a girl for coffee. We spent three hours just talking about life stuff – all of my craziness from moving here. Her alcoholic mother. I thought it was cool and we had good conversation, but when I texted her a week later to see if she wanted to hang out, she didn’t respond.

Being comfortable enough in your own skin to face the potential rejection that might come from being your vulnerable self is difficult. When you open up to someone and they run away, it makes you feel like there’s something wrong with you. Especially when it’s something that you can’t control, like a parent or family member. It’s not something you did… it’s something that was done to you. It’s a part of your life and you can’t change it. So when someone rejects you for that, it’s really difficult because they are, effectively, rejecting who you are.

I’m getting a lot better at being comfortable with who I am. Comfortable enough that if someone rejects it, it doesn’t bother me as much. I don’t care if everyone in my neighborhood thinks I’m the village weirdo. This is New York. There’s always going to be someone weirder than me…

And yeah. One of my friends is friends with that guy.

Finding Purpose in the New Paradigm

Finding Purpose in the New Paradigm

Ahank you to everyone who donated to my fundraiser – so far I’ve raised $376 out of my $500 goal! There’s just $124 left to go. You can check out the details and donate by clicking here.  Also, I’m still accepting responses to my dream course questionnaire. You do NOT have to have taken the course to respond, I’m looking for feedback from anyone who might ever be interested in taking it. It’s only 8 questions and if you respond, you’ll be entered in a drawing to win one of 10 free spots in the next round. I’m announcing winners at the end of October. Click here to take the survey.

Also, an update in regard to last week’s post and some of the reactions to it – I posted this in my Facebook group, but thought I should share it here as well. I have feelings and emotions that aren’t roses and sunshine, just like everybody else. Sometimes I just need to feel those feelings, deeply. I have had days and weeks that are FAR, FAR worse than what I wrote today over the last two years.

I vividly recall a day last summer, laying in my bed in so much emotional pain that the thought, “I’d feel so much better if I could just die,” actually went through my head.

I simply chose not to share those feelings with all of you – I journal them privately where no one sees them but me. And I’m still here. And I’m fine.

What I’m going through right now is a process. A very long, lengthy one. No amount of burying my head in the sand and pretending these feelings don’t exist is going to change my circumstances (and no amount of watching Abraham Hicks videos is going to speed up that process). I have to allow myself the time to reflect, and feel, and process. They’ll come and they’ll go. That’s the way it is.

Earlier in the year, I talked a bit about how, when you have a platform like this, people tend to have expectations of you and they forget that you’re a real person, too.

I’ve seen people have very unrealistic expectations of us “lightworkers.” I’ve had people project their own unrealistic expectations upon me, personally. I think, when people look at people like me and my friend and see us teaching these things, they tend to forget that we are people, too. They forget that we have our own path of growth, our own boundaries and our own weaknesses.

We, as spiritual teachers, face a kind of mounting pressure to be perfectly “spiritual” in every way – to lead perfect lives, to always be happy, and especially to sacrifice ourselves for others. – Healers Need Boundaries Too

This is a part of me that most of you have never been privy to, because I’ve never allowed you to be. I don’t need to be fixed. I just need people to hold space for me while I go through this and fix myself. That’s all.

If you’ve been following along since June, you’re already aware that the reason I’m here and the reason I’m going through all of this is purpose. I felt a deep, clear call to purpose that has pulled me to where I am right now. I didn’t know what it was. I didn’t know what it looked like. I just knew that I had to be here, of all places, and now, of all times. I’m still waiting for that purpose to reveal itself to me, and obviously, by my post last week, you realize this isn’t an easy thing for me to do.

I know that I’m not the only one who is seeking purpose, either. I’ve drawn more and more people to me lately who are doing just that. The last two readings I’ve done have been questions around life purpose. I always find those readings interesting because the information that comes out is just as relevant to me as it is for my clients. In the case of yesterday’s reading, everything that came out was exactly what I needed to hear as well.

I’ve been struggling to figure out how to find my purpose, and how to sustain myself while I go about doing that. I keep trying to make something happen by doing what has always worked for me in the past… but this isn’t the past. This is New Paradigm, and I’m not the person I was back then, and neither are you.

The thing about purpose is, you have to meet it half way. And you don’t meet it half way, necessarily, by just going out and trying to create it. Life is about evolving and being. You have to BE the person you need to be when you’re meant to embody that purpose.

To quote from the reading I did yesterday:

“Just as you’re trying to find purpose – your purpose is trying to find you. But there’s a divine timing to all things. In order for us to embody purpose, we have to be ready. That means we have to keep doing the work on ourselves to clear out anything that’s no longer serving us. We’re just vessels, after all, and in order to be a pure vessel, we have to put all of our own fears and ego aside and allow the universe to use us as was intended.”

I recognize that I’m still involved in that clearing out process. I’m on the tail end of it, I hope.

“A lot of finding our life purpose involves finding ourselves and honoring who we truly are and were always meant to be – that means letting the old version of ourselves fall away. So don’t worry about finding your purpose – find yourself, and your purpose will find you.”

Even as I wrote those words, I knew they were also for me. Stop falling back on what you know, you’re not that person anymore. I’d been pulling cards for myself all week that were essentially saying the same thing: Leave the old you behind. Leave your old career behind. Let it all go. This is something new. Something you haven’t seen before. Something unexpected. You don’t know what this looks like. Sit back, relax, and let it unfold – trust the universe.

Sitting back and doing nothing when you know you’re living on limited resources is really fucking hard. So I’ve been asking myself this whole week, “What do I do in the meantime?” I feel like I need to be working toward something. Doing something. And then, yesterday, came my answer. Work on yourself.

All the job applications and resumes are a distraction from working on myself. I’m spending hours a day putting energy into something that isn’t even a permanent solution to what I’m trying to achieve. I feel that whatever is coming for me isn’t going to be achieved this way. It’s going to be an opportunity that I never expected that presents itself in a fortuitous way. I’m not going to have to look for it. I’m not going to have to fight for it. By comparison to a typical job hunt, it’s going to be handed to me on a silver platter. I just have to be ready for that.

That takes a lot of trust, particularly in my situation, but then again, it takes a lot of trust to listen to a voice in your head when it tells you that you’re going to be packing up your shit and moving 1,000 miles away to a city where you know no one. So there it is. This will either happen as I’ve described, or I’ll end up penniless living in my mom’s guest room come next February. Here’s to hoping for the former.

Workshopping My Life

Workshopping My Life

As you may be aware, I decided a few weeks ago to start my job search. In the meantime, I’ve still been running around meeting with various people who could be potential clients. Some time last week, I came to a very clear realization that I felt like I was being pulled in a thousand different directions with no clarity about where I should be going or what I should be doing. I’m so busy hyper-networking to try and get business that I can barely find the time to actually DO the work that I already have.

I come home after being out for 12 hours and crash face first into bed, and yet still have nothing to show for it. When I started applying for jobs, I didn’t know whether I wanted to apply for something that is actually a logical next step on my current career trajectory, a lateral move that would keep me at the same level I was before I started consulting, or if I wanted to get a part time job and continue trying to build my consulting business, or just get a total bullshit job as an office assistant where I didn’t have to think or pour any more emotional energy into it than I absolutely had to. I had no clarity.

Then I had a realization –  that I’ve re-evaluated just about everything in and about my life except for my career. It’s just always what I’ve done and it’s been fine, but it’s never been something that I was passionate about. It was something I picked as a major in college that sounded alright and then I went wherever it lead me. I never declared, “This is what I want to do with my life!” It’s just what I fell into.

So last week I realized that I hadn’t really put much thought into whether or not this was what I really wanted to be doing with my life. I mean, I had – in December of last year, my plan for 2017 was to get out of marketing and move into IMSS full time, that is, until my life imploded – but since everything else got in the way, I decided to put that on hold and keep doing what I knew. I came to the conclusion that I needed to rethink that as well.

Up to this point I had been going in circles. It wasn’t until I gave myself permission to stop and think about it that I thought, “Wait a minute, maybe it’s none of that.”

Allowing myself to put all of the other stuff aside for a moment was a big thing – taking my ego out of the picture and realizing that I don’t need, or even want, a high profile “cool” job. Yes, I like being my own boss, but the fact of the matter is, I’m mentally and emotionally exhausted. I just need to recover. I need stability. I need something that will pay my bills and afford me the opportunity to continue healing.

It was a process to try and figure that out. I had to clear away a lot of emotional clutter and attachments that were keeping me from seeing it and accepting it. And that was the moment I decided that I needed to workshop my life in the same way that I would workshop a business client.

What is my long term vision and purpose? What are my goals? What are my core values? Where do I want to be in 5 years, not just career wise, but with LIFE?  How do all of those other things help me determine what it is that I want to do and be? How do I get form point A to point B?

Naturally, after I read my October horoscope over at Astrostyle.com, it was dead on:

“Before you can truly stretch out those social butterfly wings, you may have to roll up your sleeves and hustle. The Sun is making its annual visit to Libra and your grounded second house until October 23— a sensible cycle that helps you put a proper plan in place. As a Virgo, you kinda need that before you go running off willy-nilly!”

I’m still not entirely sure what my immediate long term vision looks like. I know that I want to be doing something with IMSS as a full time job. What that will look like? I have no idea. I did get a sense, after attending a panel discussion here in town, that it needs to be something that grows within the local community.

That’s one of the things that I love about Jersey City – it’s such a tight knit community and there are so many entrepreneurs here doing their thing. I feel a pull to join in that. I’m just not sure how, yet. Naturally, that showed up in my horoscope as well:

“Worldly Jupiter is the planet of growth and risk-taking, and its visit to your neighborhood nook can bring new adventures right to your home turf. You could bond with people who are different from your usual type, making friendships that bridge philosophies and interests. You might get more involved in cultural offerings or share your own brilliance in your ‘hood. Is it time to attend that writer’s group or open your vintage pop-up shop? Or maybe “Mayor Virgo” has a ring to it! Adopt an experimental approach and try, try, try.”

So now I have a plan, at least a better one than I did a week ago, and step one is to find a job that offers me mental, emotional, and financial stability. Looks like October is the right time to do it!

“The October 19 Libra new moon could bring a plum job offer or money-making opportunity. Events may unfold over a longer period (new moons can take up to six months to fully manifest), but if you’re looking for a new gig, start spreading the word.”

Lastly – I mentioned in a post a few weeks back that I was suspending a lot of my services here until further notice… or until I get a full time job that can pay some bills. Then I got frustrated today when I realized that I couldn’t send an email that I wanted to because with the free version of my email system, I can only send to 2,000 people a day (and only 12,000 per month). I have 1,500+ people on my list, so just sending out my regular 2 blog posts a week hits my limit.

I don’t want you to have to stop receiving communication from me just because I’m financially strapped. So I thought maybe you guys would care enough about what I provide here to pitch in and help me out while I’m figuring out how to take care of myself.

I’m asking for $500 to cover blog expenses for the next 6 months (and that should be more than enough). Seriously, if every one of my subscribers gave me 33 cents each, that would cover it.

If you’re down to help out, contribute below, and thanks in advance for helping out. I don’t like asking for money, I’d much rather earn it, but I’m honestly barely in the headspace to be able to give anyone a reading.

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