MANIFESTING THE WRONG KIND OF SAFETY?
After a brief meditation and discussion he says, “Your writing is all about safety and protection.” What??? It’s not what I’m expecting to hear so I ask him to elaborate.
“Your writing is about playing it safe. It’s like you want to shine your light but you don’t want anyone to see it.” I picture a little girl writing in her journal, under the covers, with a flashlight.
I’m on the call for a coaching session that came with a “Manifestation for Entrepreneurs” ecourse I bought a month ago. I’ve gone through the modules. I’ve made (remade and made again) my Intention Board and the other suggestions for the course. I’ve looked back at my childhood and uncovered all I can as to why my blog traffic seems stuck, at the exact same numbers, ALL THE TIME. Every month I come up with the same numbers. I’ve read the books on growing a website. I’ve done my online research for Search Engine Optimization. I’ve really focused on networking and promotion like everyone says and it’s stuck, month after month, in the same spot. Any time my life gets stuck it forces me to wonder if it’s me.
When the manifestation course appeared on my Facebook feed I decided to sign up for the free information session. By the end of the call, I knew Lloyd’s story sounded so much like my own that I bought the course.
And now we’ve reached the heart of the matter. “Your writing is all about safety and protection.”
I’m beginning to understand what he is saying. I do have many drafts of posts that I could easily sort into “risky” and “safe.” The risky ones I consider the ones that could draw considerable comments and criticism.
And yes, if I’m being honest, it does feel safe. I think that all the time. When something goes wrong with some part of the blog I think, “Thank goodness this happened while the blog is small so no one noticed.” Frequently thinking “Whew. No one noticed.” In my head even affectionately referring to my blog as “this little blog of mine.”
“It’s like you want to shine your light, but you don’t want anyone to see it.”
We discuss how I’ve set up protection for myself to keep my audience small. “But that safety is now interfering,” he says. And it is. Which is why I’m on this call. Which is why I’ve done the work to answer why I want a website and why I want an audience. When I hit “publish” on a post, I feel like it’s exactly what I should be doing. But the audience doesn’t follow. I’ve started to wonder the universe is telling me to invest my time in something else.
Would it make more sense to go back to Human Resources? Success and career growth came easily to me and this has been nothing but challenging. I ask him about that. He says it was easier because “there was nothing at stake.” It’s true. My heart wasn’t in HR and I felt more fulfilled outside of work, than at work. Yet, it was nice to get a paycheck!
We explore the reasons for keeping the blog small (and possibly the sabotage occurring at an unconscious level). It stems back to childhood and I can see the pattern as we are discussing what I have written down in response to some of his questions.
I take a deep breath and admit that I am afraid when things are going really well that something bad will happen. I think of it as “waiting for the other shoe to drop syndrome.”
He listens and points out how many times I’ve referred to fear and how it’s important to manifest from a place of love, not fear or lack. I hear what he is saying. It feels true. I’m surprised he is able to see everything so clearly and appreciate how he is able to sum up my situation for me in a way that I have not been able to do.
I sigh because now I have this insight but need to figure out how to incorporate it. I thank him for the course and his time, and hang up.
Am I manifesting safety instead of success? Am I on some level creating all the obstacles that are constantly interfering with my ability to spend time writing? Not to mention the technical problems that keep cropping up?
This is the hard part of the course. I would hate to think that while I am working so hard at something, another part of me is sabotaging it in some way. I would also hate to look back and feel like I played it safe and did not take any risks.
I have to admit, putting yourself out there for an audience is an exercise in vulnerability. I’m confident I can write about a great place to eat breakfast in Big Bear, but writing my view of the world and opening myself up for public criticism is scary.
It makes me think of a tide pool. It’s a pretty and safe place to explore while the ocean is on the other side. You can find starfish, shells, and many other sea creatures to keep you occupied. But if you want to ride the waves, you can’t do it from the tide pool. I want to ride the waves.
The next morning I walk the dog and come home with renewed determination. I decide that I am going to quit waiting for the other shoe to drop. I am going to let go of the fear that when things are going well something bad is going to happen. I am going to take more risks.
I think again of the call with Lloyd and my life in general. He told me that I need to fall apart a little to release the parts that are holding me back. I don’t understand exactly how to fall apart. I think about trying meditation and seeing if I can connect to the feelings that need to be released.
But life steps in and does it for me.
I commit to success and get a mini crisis instead…Yep. I fall apart.
THINGS FALL APART
Two days after my call with Lloyd regarding my possible blocks for manifestation, I take the dog for her morning walk. I’m hearing Lloyd’s words “you need to fall apart a little,” and wondering what did he mean by that? Cry after yoga? Meditate more? I am a person who tries to keep things together, to be the “grown up,” and the thought of falling apart is not very appealing. Maybe I can skip it? Maybe I can just forget about manifestation and my intention board and go back to what I was doing before? Only I know deep down, my looking into manifestation is more about me looking into my own blocks and my own life and trying to see what is holding me back (and I feel like something is). I decide to be open to exploring “falling apart” safely, in meditation, and I finish up my walk with renewed optimism. The other shoe does not have to drop, I think.
What happens next reminds me that life doesn’t always wait for you to safely and gently explore your feelings.
I’m in the kitchen boiling some water. My husband is home from work due to back pain and he seems chatty but then says his pain is returning. As I’m telling him to go sit down, he says, “I’m dizzy” and falls straight back like an ironing board onto the tile floor–it happens that fast! He lands so straight that his head seems to hit first and then bounce. I run over to find him lying still. I have no idea if it’s a seizure, fainting, or if now he is injured much worse from the fall! He already could barely move or sit from the back pain and now here he is lying on the floor. I ask if he can hear me and when he is unable to answer I immediately decide to call 911.
Within minutes paramedics are in our kitchen. They are asking me questions about what medications he takes, what I saw, which hospital he should go to, do I want to drive separately? My mind is reeling as I answer and decide to drive separately in case no one can pick up the kids from school. I grab my phone and am calling his brother on my way out the door wondering, “What the hell just happened?”
When I arrive at the ER they haven’t assigned his room in the computer so I have to wait. It’s the longest wait ever and I’m second guessing driving myself since now I don’t know where he is or if he’s okay. Did something else happen in the ambulance? I finally get to see him and he’s talking and tells me the board they have his head strapped to actually hurts worse now than the back pain.
Over the course of the day we go through an xray, CAT scan, getting released only to have another black out episode, MRI, learn he has “bulging discs,” and we return home in time for dinner. The whole event has shaken me up. He even passes out a little on the way home and I have him move the seat so he won’t fall into me while I’m driving and take us both out! My husband is barely ever sick so this is unusual for us and is freaking me out. I don’t know if he’s going to be walking up the stairs and fall backwards. The doctors have told us to keep the pain down, which they think surges and causes the fainting. So that’s what we are doing. Keeping the pain down.
Days later when we are settled again I start to wonder if everyone’s life is like this? For people who do not like to get in the middle of drama (me!), it seems to find us! He left the spot five minutes before one of the Boston Marathon bombers was shot, on a weird fluke where he shouldn’t have even been in that state. His Dad dropped dead behind the wheel of car, with it on cruise control, driving his mother across a freeway and over a 70 foot embankment (she was okay thankfully). My Mom’s brain tumors seemed to come out of nowhere and she was suddenly gone, along with numerous other events and losses that have kept us in more uncertainty than I would have ever imagined possible.
I am a person who usually finds the silver lining. Even with this situation I am so grateful they did the MRI so that we know what the problem is. Otherwise, he may have tried to go to work on Monday and what if he had blacked out in the car? Without knowing the extent of the injury I could see how it would be very easy to injure it further and have this turn into a lifelong problem of back pain instead of what we are hoping is a one-time situation.
But, I’ve never really considered raising the kids without him. I mean, this is a person who once spent the day in the hospital with altitude sickness, came out and loaded up the car in the snow because I was too short to reach the luggage box on the top of the car. He would lie quietly as I packed and then get up a put in the next suitcase in so we could get him down to a lower elevation. Seeing him hit the tile like that and being wheeled out on a stretcher is replaying in my mind and it has really made me question everything.
Just two days earlier, I had cautiously admitted to Lloyd that I fear when things are going well, something bad will happen, and things were going well and then something did happen. I can’t even think about the bills that will be in the thousands for this one injury!
If you research manifestation or the law of attraction everything says not to think about the negative and gratitude is everything. Manifestation has been on my mind for the past few months which has me wondering, if I am thinking “I am afraid something bad will happen,” did the universe just hear “something bad will happen?” Is this just my husband’s journey and the timing is just a coincidence? Are we attracting crisis? Am I losing my mind????
I love the quote by Yeats, “Things fall apart; the center cannot hold.” I first heard it in school it has stuck with me since. It reminds me how life is messy and you can’t keep it all together or wrapped up neatly in a ball. If you are the center, eventually you will fall apart. I’ve been that center for a while now. Pretty much since I became a Mom. I’ve made the majority of the decisions regarding where we live, which school the boys attend, when to take them to the doctor and even jointly when to take my Mom off life support. I saw a joke recently that said something like, when big situations happen in life I look around for a grown up or at least someone more “grown upy” than me. Do we all feel that way? When the fevers come or the big moments you expect a grown up to step in for you, only to discover it’s you?
As I write this now the dishes are piled up in the kitchen, the kids need to get out, he is going to need food in a few minutes to be able to take the pain pills and now I am afraid of him even standing on the tile and hitting his head like that again. Or taking a shower and falling out the glass door. I was right next to him when he fainted and was completely unable to catch him in time, which makes me feel helpless.
I do what needs to be done, the cooking, the cleaning, caring for the kids, but I feel lost and sad as I do it. I am torn between gratitude, fear, and this uneasy feeling I cannot name. Eckhart Tolle says “Life is designed to make us conscious.” If that is true mine has certainly put me through the ringer the past seven years and I have no idea how to absorb it. It’s been hills and valleys and I would really prefer plateaus!
The uneasiness and the feelings of uncertainty hit me all at once and for the first time I don’t have any answers or solutions. I don’t know what I am supposed to do with my life or in general. Instead of fighting these feelings or ignoring them, I let them in completely.
I let ALL the feelings in.
“Things fall apart; the center cannot hold.”
AND NOW I’M OLD?!!!
After a week of feeling defeated and confused on how not to feel defeated and attract more defeat (and maybe feeling like I’m losing my mind entirely!), I have to go to the OBGYN and discuss how my periods have gone completely haywire. The only appointment they have is the day my Mom passed away six years ago. It feels weird to go to the doctor on that day but there are very few choices available.
I go over the strange last few months of periods and my OBGYN launches right into how we start being “perimenopausal” any time after 37 and it continues until you are through menopause which can apparently be long and take forever (I’ve already heard about this from several women at this point but was hoping for a different answer). So now on top of everything else, I find out that I’m Old! Don’t I have another 10-15 years before this is an issue?! Because my periods changed so suddenly she’ll run some blood work, but otherwise I am pretty much screwed and instead of yoga she suggests adding in 30 minutes of super vigorous workouts 3-5 times per week. She tells me “what you eat now is everything.” Ugh. I already spend a great deal of my day avoiding processed foods and gluten so that’s the last thing I want to hear.
We end up talking a little about how I don’t know what to do with my life and she tells me that this happens to a lot of women. Usually when their kids hit middle school, she says, so for me it’s a little early. She avoids calling it a “mid-life crisis” because I think she doesn’t want to depress me. I have my blood drawn and decide to stop at my favorite home goods store on the way home.
At the store I find a painting that I love and think it would look great over the couch and it makes me feel happy driving home with it in the trunk. The whole family hates it. I’m having Alexander’s “terrible, horrible, no good very bad day,” or maybe week!
I’m old apparently. Maybe in a mid-life crisis. I worry about everything. The kids are driving me crazy and the house is a complete mess. I go to sleep thinking this must be what falling apart feels like. I usually talk to family or friends when I feel like this but this time I don’t. I decide to just sit with it awhile and write about it instead. I want to get over it but part of me wants to explore it too.
I haven’t felt this stuck and confused since a few months ago when I accidentally lost all my writing and everything having to do with my website that was on the computer when something happened with our back up drive. Everything I had spent years working on was gone in an instant and it took me a month to wrap my head around it and let it go. Now, my husband is doing better with his back. Life seems to be back in order. There is no reason for me to feel this way but I do.
The timing of deciding to expect only good and five minutes later calling the paramedics has stuck with me. His falling straight back like that has stuck with me.
I have all these new questions in my mind:
Am I manifesting safety instead of success?
Should I be doing something else with my life?
If you are aligned with your purpose, should the universe support it and things come easily?
When you are trying to connect to your life’s purpose is that a much more difficult path?
Why is my life so intertwined with this website?!!!!
This website now represents so much more to me that just “hey. I think I’ll try blogging,” like it originally did. It’s been a journey. I started wanting to be anonymous and maybe gossiping about funny stories that happened and I quickly realized it would only work if I was truly myself. I’ve been 100% committed to this and it’s only now, after two years and two different attempts and so many obstacles, that I’m questioning everything. I loved the idea of self-publishing, but it’s ended up being a struggle with too much freedom. Should I have written that? Will people think I’m crazy? If I don’t say what I’m really thinking then it’s just boring and not really me. If I do say what I’m thinking what will people think?
Life would be much easier with an extra paycheck.
I’ve given up on writing before. It was when I graduated. I worked my way through college and money was tight. I didn’t have medical insurance or any kind of savings and I felt like I really needed a job that paid rather than years of being a starving writer. I just could not stand the thought of working in customer service anymore at that time. My Mom saw a job ad in the paper (yes the paper!) that seemed interesting and I got it. That led to me hearing about the career of HR. My friend worked with an HR consultant and asked her if she would tell me more about that career. That consultant hired me. Easy. Signs I followed. I never felt it was a calling, but did think I seemed to be good at it and was promoted accordingly. I was able to take several amazing vacations which made it all worthwhile.
I have Lloyd’s call in my mind where he says I am manifesting these obstacles to keep myself in a safe place. Could that be true? Is the only thing standing between me and success ME? Success to me means a career that aligns with my life purpose, for which the only path I keep coming back to is the one I’m on.
I saw the quote somewhere, “It takes 10 years to be an overnight success.” Could that be right?!
As I’m about to fall asleep, my husband says, “I don’t know what you are going through but I want you to know I support you.” I thank him and wish I could explain what is happening in my head and why I’m not my usual self. I usually tell him everything…
I’M GOING TO FIGURE IT OUT!
The next day I embrace my downward spiral. I end up yelling at everyone that I am sick of picking up the mess in the house. “There’s no reason for toys and paper to be from one end of the house to the other EVERY SINGLE DAY,” I say. My husband blames my period. He doesn’t know the half of it according to the OBGYN and our perimenopausal chat, but I decide to keep that to myself. I’m still waiting on the blood work to see if it’s anemia, thyroid, or truly screwed for the next who knows how many years by hormones (my blood work ends up fine).
I go down to our guest room/office and stretch my back which is suddenly hurting and I end up just lying there staring at the ceiling with the doors shut. I hear everyone moving around me, picking up some of their things (I wish all!) and I feel like I’ve hit bottom. I don’t even know why I’ve hit bottom. My husband’s back is doing better, the weather is nice, and I have my first ever yoga getaway planned for the next weekend. But I can’t move. I’m stuck on the floor just semi-depressed staring at the ceiling.
My head feels like its spinning. Is it hormones from this new word I’m hearing “perimenopause?” Have I lost my mind? All I can think is that I want to go back to work. When I was working toward my MBA, I pictured success a different way (of course, I hadn’t held my own child yet which can be a game changer). I want to make a living again and for today I feel like I just cannot take cleaning the house anymore, it’s never ending! Don’t get me wrong, it’s been a gift to be home and I’ve enjoyed it and even cherished it. I chose to be a stay-at-home Mom until they got to first grade, and I don’t regret it. It’s just that I find some aspects of it so challenging. My kids follow rules and guidelines “to the T” outside of the home and test every rule and boundary in the home. Going off to work and having them go somewhere where they follow rules is starting to sound amazing rather than being caught up in these power struggles. My kids (all kids?) are expert negotiators and it’s exhausting.
As I’m lying on the floor I day dream about leaving the house, going off to work, and hiring a house cleaner. I wonder if it really matters what that work is. I fantasize about the kids in their after school programs and the ability to speak in full sentences again instead of them interrupting my every word. I decide to let my mind go blank because I know, I just deep down know, that I am the center of my problems. I also know that my problems are the good ones to have–first world problems for sure! I know I am lucky I can be home with the kids and taking this time to write and decide what’s best for our family. Maybe I can find a way to get the family to pick up after themselves without my having “to lose it?” And yes I’ve read the books about how you don’t have to yell and I’m thinking those people are magic or have something in them that I do not have.
I had a career, I’m thinking. I liked having a career. Blogging seemed like the best of both worlds to me so that I could both have a career and spend time with the kids after school.
My mind goes blank as I lay there. After some time this is what comes to me:
I have all the tools I need, but I don’t know how to use them.
I have all the energy I need, but I don’t know how to harness it.
I have all the ideas I need, but I don’t know how to execute them.
I have all the love I need, but I don’t know how to accept it.
Lastly, I don’t want to have it all and be defeated by my own mind!
I am seriously living “Mind Over Messy.” When the name came to me I thought it was cute and clever. Like being mindful in the messiness of life. Remembering to enjoy every moment as it happens, even though every day cannot be smooth sailing. And here I am. Having these messy moments and my mind is getting in the way. I am struggling with being able to live with gratitude because I am so hard on myself. “I should be doing more,” I always think. Or “I am not good at this motherhood thing,” and “my husband wants more of my time and attention than I have left at the end of the day.” I feel like I’m coming up short in every way.
And I don’t have to feel this way, I realize.
I don’t have to be so hard on myself. I can lighten up! No one is judging me except me. No one is asking me to do more than I am currently doing. If I want to do more I’ve had nothing but support for that too.
After a while I get up and write those thoughts down.
I have all the tools I need…
I have all the energy I need…
I have all the ideas I need…
I have all the love I need…
I have all I need and want. For the first time since I lost my all my writing a few months ago and my husband’s sudden injury, I feel confident again. I just know I’m going to figure it out. I don’t know how, or what, but I know I will figure it out. And I know that even if I choose not to figure “it” out, I will right back to wondering about “it” again the next day.
My husband says it doesn’t matter what you do for a living really. It doesn’t have to be aligned with your purpose. He said it, I heard it, and briefly considered doing something else only to have that inner knowing that it does. For me, I do need to be aligned with my purpose. Even if I don’t know what my purpose is, I know I need to be aligned with it in all ways. I just do.
I tell the universe “I am ready.” I tell myself “I am ready.” I have everything I need to succeed, I will figure out “the how,” when I’m supposed to.
I think back to Lloyd’s call which sparked my whole trial with manifestation and to how at the beginning of the call he said when we were done he would let me know if he could offer coaching. When we were finishing up I was prepared for a sales pitch (sorry Lloyd!) and hoping he would offer me the road map to my life. He said he did not see a need to offer any further services because he saw that I was going to figure it out. I was disappointed at the time but accepted that I do need to get answers from myself at this point in my journey.
And in the meantime I’ll do more cardio and I decide that I’m not feeling old just yet. I AM young.
I decide to keep the painting that everyone else hated and put it in the office. Surprisingly once it’s in the office everyone likes it there and I love to see it next to the computer.
I am excited to see what happens next. And what happens next is ALOT! During the month that follows life gets even crazier and through it all I consistently think, “I’m going to figure it out.” I stop being worried about the future and I take time to listen to my inner guidance. I feel more confident though nothing else on the surface has changed. Maybe I did need to spiral downward to be able to come into this “up.”
I am figuring it out…