Back in about 2011, I enrolled in a $100,000 coaching program that was designed to teach me how to build my business through events. The cost of that program created a huge amount of stress for my then-husband and me, even as we were excited about the prospect of what we could accomplish with the coaching and training we were receiving. This post actually isn’t about my experience with the program per se, it’s about how I responded to the stress I was feeling.
For a time, I was living inside two realities simultaneously. It was like my awareness was switching back and forth between two television channels. In one “show” I lost my home, my business and my family. This story was deeply disturbing, and I would wake up in the night terrified that this would come to pass. I would sit up and look around to see where I was.
My partner was lying beside me and my child was asleep in the other room. All is well, I would say to myself, all is well. Go back to sleep. It’s okay.
Sometimes I would. And sometimes I wouldn’t.
I had been swept away by what the two people who had enrolled me in this program said was possible for me. Yes, I’m excellent onstage. I’ve been a teacher, mentor, and inspiring presence for decades, so all of that was true. That resonated with me.
At the same time, part of me can be seduced by a need for recognition – an aspect of having an open Will Center in Human Design. I get this now and am no longer run by it, but at the time I bought in to the possibility they presented to me. I was pulled in by a false need I didn’t realize I had.
The truth is that my business was at a VERY young stage and we (myself and then husband) were not ready for that kind of program – either the cost of it or even the growth it was intended to create. At the time I was blind to this truth because I wanted to believe what my mentors were telling me. Even more, this false need was running the show below the level of my consciousness.
In the other “show” everything turned out okay. I didn’t have a clear vision of what that would look like. I just felt that my family would be okay, we would still enjoy our home in the country, my business would grow, we would increase our income, and we would be safe. We would be fine.
I’d been through a lot of change and challenge in my life already by then, so I had a track record of landing on my feet even when what I knew fell away and I didn’t know the next step. I called on that when I started to feel the fear of the other story taking over.
It was like my consciousness switched back and forth between two versions of reality, two completely different ways of seeing and feeling the world. The contrast was extreme and startling. The way my body felt changed completely depending on which “show” I was “watching.”
My breathing would change, tension in my neck and shoulders would come and go, my emotions would rise and fall. I would fall into worrying and crying, then become energized, hopeful, purposeful, happy to support my clients and teach my courses.
I began to track myself, pulling my awareness back a couple of steps so I could watch what was happening. I breathed, danced, took long walks, talked with my coaches, wrote in my journal, meditated. Slowly I created more and more space between my awareness and the switching back and forth that was happening and I gained more command over the story or “show” I was living inside of.
All of us have experiences like this, where our reality shifts and shimmers, and even shatters and falls apart. Disruption and disintegration naturally occur in life. they are not necessarily a sign that something is “wrong.” What’s normal and routine can become confining even as it feels safe and familiar. And if we’re slow to evolve the way that we are designed to do, then spirit tends to send a disrupting shove our way to get us moving. And if we still don’t pay attention, hammering disintegration comes next.
I got to practice how to be with myself and what to do when disruption hits during this time when I was enrolled in this program. (Fortunately, I did exit that program part way through because it really was not appropriate for me at the time.) Of course I didn’t like it at the time, but it was a beneficial training ground.
I WAS WELL PREPARED
Several years later, after I had built a half million dollar coaching business using events, I did “lose” my home, my business, and my marriage (though fortunately not my child). Even though I had exited that program, I still had moved quickly, too quickly it turns out, to create this business. I did not have the infrastructure, the staff, or the cash flow to sustain that kind of growth in a couple of years time.
Now I know that I was also working against my Human Design, initiating rather than responding, pushing when I ran out of energy, not paying attention to right timing, not giving myself enough time to make good decisions, and believing that I could create plans with my strategic mind, then implement them solely based on my intent.
I didn’t know any better and I burned myself out big time. That’s when everything fell apart and I lost “everything” just I had been afraid I would several years before.
Now I know some of you who are really into Law of Attraction might think that I attracted this situation because earlier I had created it in my mind and gotten emotionally involved in it. Don’t think so, but maybe.
What feels right to me, and what’s a more helpful and kinder perspective, is that my earlier experience was preparing me for this one. I’m not particularly assigning intent to my Inner Being about this, but who knows what’s really at work in the cosmic plan? What I do know is that when I stepped away from my business, went through a divorce, moved to a tiny cottage compared to my 2000 square foot home, and had to explore new ways of creating income, that I was kind of ready.
I had already developed the ability to change my perception, and to know that my perception, any perception, is simply that – a perspective. And that I can change it with intention and practice.
Now changing perspective does not mean that everything difficult magically disappears. What it does mean is that we can move into a more resourced state in which new possibilities and potential become available. We can actually see things that were not visible to us before. Uncanny.
In this more resourced state we also become more receptive to inner guidance, or guidance from what I like to call my “upstairs team.” The portal to other dimensions of consciousness open up, and we can receive insights and direction that our small minds cannot imagine on their own. In Human Design I have a lot of what’s called the “knowing circuit”, and this means that I receive downloads from super consciousness and also have a deep sensing of knowing about many things – when I’m relaxed enough.
When I’m more agitated, or in denial, or allowing disruption to take over my awareness, I cannot hear or feel my Inner Being or the divine beings that I pray to or work with. I become trapped inside my smaller mind with doors slammed shut to super consciousness.
I don’t do this on purpose of course. It happens as a survival mechanism, kind of like crawling in bed and pulling the covers over my head. My scared parts imagine that if I get small enough and hide then I’ll be okay. This is little kid behavior that made sense when I was small and didn’t have a lot of options about where to go or what to do when something went awry and I felt scared.
Now as an adult, an elder even, I am much more resourced, including an overflowing magic backpack of tools and processes to help me through challenging times. Shifting perspective enables me to change my state of consciousness – and thus how my body feels, my emotional tone, my thoughts and perceptions – quickly, even instantaneously at times. Switching the channel, if you would.
I painted the image above in the midst of the experience I described above. I love to share this image with clients – and now with you! This is my Spiritual Radio. When the dial is turned to the right – Sab – you’re on the Saboteur Station. Here drones your inner fears:
- I don’t know what to do.
- I can’t figure this out.
- I’m so overwhelmed.
- Oh shit, I’m in for it now.
- I’m gonna lose _________.
- I’m so alone. No one knows what I’m going through.
- I’m just not smart enough to deal with this right now.
- I’m going to watch some TV.
- Actually I want to get in bed . . .
Your inner dialogue may be different from this. Yet everyone has a voice(s) inside that, as one friend of mine says, takes you into a bad part of town. Bump, bump, bump over potholes you go, squinting your eyes because the streetlights are broken, and uncertain of where to go because there are no street signs. When you catch yourself, turn around and head home as quickly as you can
Then turn the dial on your Spiritual Radio up to center: B R E A T H E. Take a few deep, connected, circular breaths into your belly and chest. Close your eyes, relax your shoulders, your jaw, and your mind and breathe some more. Breathe up to the top of the inhale, and immediately drop down into the exhale. Emphasis is on breathing in – your YES to life – then gently letting go on the exhale, no pushing or forcing
As you continue to breathe and relax, use your dominant hand to turn the dial even farther to the left, all the way to the SL – the Soul Level. Breathing consciously and purposefully opens portals to the soul plane and to your inner landscape. Breathe in with enthusiasm, gently breathe out, just letting go. You don’t have to use force to release what you no longer need. You just need to relax and let go.
As you breathe, invite yourself to become more and more open to your Inner Being, to your highest good, to a deep sense that you are safe, and that you are divinely guided. Even if you don’t believe it with your mind, even if you have evidence in your life that might tell you otherwise, encourage yourself to embrace these timeless truths.
Ask for the support you need. Cry if tears arise for you (they often do for me). Laugh if that bubbles up inside you. Let anger move through you. Feel your heart open with compassion, kindness and understanding. Whatever presents itself, let it flow. When you feel complete, give yourself a big, big hug, as if you are someone you truly love.