Yesterday I used to sing a song
That carried me through the night
The other day I seemed to have it all
But now, I cannot seem to fight
And when I try to hold on to it
I seem to hardly let go
It’s time to face my fears
It’s time to show my soul
In time I’ll lose myself
In time I’ll cry my dreams away
In time I’ll be myself again
And fall away
“When we are not sure, we are alive.” ~ Graham Greene
In moments when we’ve lost our sense of certainty we can feel powerless, lost and confused. We lose faith in ourselves to direct our life. While these moments challenge us to the core, they are the fertile ground from which soulful new beginnings emerge.
For many years I struggled building my coaching and workshop practice. Nothing seemed to work, and for about three years I lived far below the poverty line. Buying a cup of tea at a coffee shop was a stretch for me, let alone paying my rent. My credit cards were getting far more work racking up debt than I was attracting clients. I was confused and depressed to say the least.
One night I had a session with my spiritual guide who I’d been working with for years. She was someone I trusted to understand my unconventional life path without judgment or projection. She was able to hold the space for my nagging self-doubt and, more importantly, my deeper sense that I was meant to be successful and living from purpose and passion. That night I was feeling particularly down. I told her I was tired of trying to make my business a success. I was tired and I wanted to give up. The traditional response to such a statement would be something like, “Oh no Vince, you shouldn’t quit. You’ve put so much work into this, keep going!” I wouldn’t have worked with her this long if she had provided cookie cutter answers. Instead, she said “Yes, giving up is the gate!” While this made no sense to my logical mind, on a soul level it resonated.
After the call was over at 10pm, I sat on my couch to digest what we spoke about. My mind was brimming with the unfathomable possibility of walking away from what I felt was my purpose. At that very moment from the street in front of my building I heard a voice yell “I give up!” I ran to my balcony and there stood a vagabond-like man who then shouted, “Let a new life begin!” He casually walked away saying nothing else. At this point in my life guidance and reassurance through synchronicities had become quite common – still today, this one takes the cake!
“We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.” ~ Joseph Campbell
Many months later I got the true extent of this validating message. I reached a place where I finally surrendered to leaving my role of Life Coach and the vision of success I had. I fully accepted looking elsewhere for work and hopefully joy. The key piece of learning for me was to detach from needing my business vision to look a certain way, and for that vision to provide me joy. I was so desperately afraid that if I did not succeed in the path I’d envisioned, I’d be unhappy. But despite feeling incredibly melancholy and uncertain, in that moment of letting go I felt liberated. I was open to finding joy anywhere. And this I did!
One night around this time I had a dream. I dreamt I was lying in a hospital bed. Two beautiful women came to me and one (the lovely blonde) sat on my bed. She told me to offer my Remembering to Play workshop (which at the time I’d only tinkered with three times at a local yoga studio) to doctors and nurses. I woke the next morning amazed at the clarity of this guidance and proceeded to act upon it. That same day I was presented with other incredible synchronicities which further validated this dream. I followed all the signs and the rest is history.
The more you know, the more you realize you don’t know
Buddhists speak of the impermanent nature of existence. Impermanence points to Life’s mantra being one of change and uncertainty. Personal foundations built in comfort, sameness and familiarity are eventually challenged or succeeded to reveal an unresolved aspect of our Self, a higher vision or a deeper truth. I was so sure of my path, so clear in my direction… and, in hindsight it was only a taste of what was to come.
Through the arc of our entire life we face various “inner deaths” that force us to look beyond our current experience of life and ourselves. With the last child leaving the home the mother often loses her sense of purpose, her identity being challenged. Suddenly her life isn’t about being a mother and caring for others first; she is now in the spotlight. Being fired from a job or being single after many years in relationship can also be like an inner death. Who am I if I am not a stockbroker or in relationship? The stronger we identify with our position, the more challenging the death will feel.
The power lies in the question, not the answer
The moment we ask the question, Who am I (if I am not a mother, stockbroker or in relationship)? we align with the greater possibilities of Life previously not reachable when attached to what we perceived as real. Simply contemplating the question opens us to allow Life to answer. Life is ready to rush in and help whether through dream guidance, synchronistic opportunities or sudden inspiration.
“Where nothing is real, everything is possible.” ~ Lynda Austin
What appears as the end of the road is just the beginning. Life steps in with the unexpected and unplanned. A new path manifests calling forth the next expression of our soul that until now has yet to be unveiled. Each time we open to the unknown, we climb another step on Life’s endless staircase. Upwards and onwards we fall deeper into our essential Self, surrendering to the fullness of our being and the mystery of Life.
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