My Life Path Has Been A Crooked Line...
Closer To Fine, Indigo Girls
I went to the doctor, I went to the mountains
I looked to the children, I drank from the fountains
Yeah, we go to the Bible, we go through the work out
We read up on revival, we stand up for the lookout
There's more than one answer to these questions
Pointing me in a crooked line
And the less I seek my source for some definitive
The closer I am to fine, yeah
My father once made a very astute observation about my life. He said, “I sometimes think you dig yourself all of these deep holes just so you can have the challenge of climbing yourself out of them”. Boy, was he right, much as I hate to admit it!
My life path has been a series of adventures, misadventures and spiritual entrepreneurship that has always had me walking the razor’s edge. An exhilarating place to be but one false move and I might fall off into one of those deep holes again! I guess I have thrived on the challenge of it all. For my archetypes, I have The High Priestess as my soul path hence the emphasis on the spiritual and metaphysical. But I also have the Alchemist and the Maverick in my make-up. The Alchemist loves to create something out of thin air and pull rabbits out of hats. And the Maverick thrives on challenge and living by its wits, risking big and winning big. Both archetypes have served me well and have been contributing factors to my successes: being promoted at the age of young age of twenty to be assistant buyer in a clothing chain; being thrust into the spotlight as a work-out teacher and owner of my own fitness studio; which morphed into an opportunity to study yoga and become a teacher and yoga studio owner; which morphed into becoming a yoga teacher trainer and destination-retreat organizer….and all of this has morphed into what you are reading here on these pages!
But those are only the outward successes, the crests of the waves I have been riding. In between were the troughs and fallow periods of indecision, wrong choices, financial losses, emotional betrayals, physical collapse and spiritual malaise – this last fallow period lasting about ten years. Yes, you heard it right – ten friggin’ years!
But guess what? I have learned so much more from my failures than from my successes. There is not much reason to grow when the path is all smooth and free of potholes. Failures cause you to dig deep inside in order to discover what is calling out to be healed, or what limiting belief system is holding you back, or what old emotional wound is driving self-destructive behaviour. When you find this stuff you have hit pay-dirt in terms of your personal growth! The successes are just smooth sailing, free rides. Thank fully I have experienced a mix of both. But before I entered this life I must have chosen a course that would fast-track my learning and evolution because I have made it my mission in life to take big risks with my career and personal life and I have landed on my ass more times than I care to mention. Sheesh, I ought to be enlightened by now.
Life has reflected back to me this choice to take the difficult path in a couple of different ways. 1) When I was going through a particularly difficult period with my fitness studio, looking for away to sell it and transform it into a yoga studio, Spirit sent me an interesting dream: I was paddling my canoe down a very broad and steady river, easy-peasy, when suddenly I saw a side-tributary out of the corner of my eye and thought ‘What the heck?’ and I suddenly changed course. I found myself fighting for my survival as I was catapulted down a very steep and fast-moving waterfall. I was desperately trying to reverse and paddle upstream, and would almost make it back to the top before getting swept back down again. This happened over and over until I finally got the message to surrender and let it take me wherever it would. I let go and rode those rapids quickly down to the bottom and the dream resolved nicely with me enjoying a feast with friends to celebrate my survival. And that pretty much describes my life path. 2) Another reflection of this came when I was living at the Kripalu Ashram back in the mid-nineties and there was a visiting Vedic astrologer from India with whom I was lucky enough to have a reading. He told me a number of interesting things. What stands out now is his description of how I would earn something like a masters degree from the school of hard knocks. He laughed about it and tried to explain it in his broken English and heavy Indian accent, and I got the picture. But he said it was all good and that soon after there would come a time of harvest. A time when everything would fall into place and be ‘super-turning’.
I certainly have earned that Masters Degree from the School of Hard Knocks. Today I am much wiser for it and at a place in my life of much more contentment and ease. Perhaps I have done with all of the digging and climbing and have come to appreciate the peace that comes with a little less recklessness in my life. I have learned not to jump at every opportunity for adventure and feeling of 'meant to be' and instead have matured into someone who is guided by Spirit and has also learned the value of a little logic and self-restraint.
The moral of the story is, that by getting into a jam and then (hopefully) figuring out how to get out of the mess, you grow. You learn to transform lead into gold. You must! Your very survival depends on it. I call this path to enlightenment a Crooked Line. It is not for the faint of heart. But if you have hung in there with me through this long explanation you are probably on a similar path. This is a path that takes a lot of faith and courage. It allows you reinvent yourself over and over and explore the full range of the creative gifts you have to offer. But it’s not easy. You may have enjoyed being the King or Queen of your own kingdom for awhile, but a new stage of the journey lies right around the corner…
Laying in the shadows are other archetypes like the Inner Critic, the Gossip and the Judge who are even tougher task-masters. These ones drag your self esteem or ‘ego-esteem’ through the muck. It is here that you suffer from self-doubt or even self-hate and question everything about your life. You also suffer the slings and arrows of opinions from others, particularly if you have reached a level of some status where you have been placed on a pedestal, heaven forbid. Now, with equal zeal the very same folks who put you there will knock you down and seem to take pleasure in your humiliation. Your ego probably won’t survive this, it’s very tough love. Lord Shiva will dance on your ashes for a while. For as long as it takes, I guess, for your ego to be completely annihilated. It is called the Dark Night of the Soul for good reason. And here’s the thing – if you hang in there and do your healing work once you and surrender to the chaos – very soon, you are free! None of that old stuff you used to think you had to hold onto so tight, none of it matters any more. You are re-born like Scrooge in a ‘Christmas Carole’, dancing your way through the world like a goof!
If you make it this far congratulations are in order for staying the course. You have just re-birthed yourself into a much humbler and wiser, more expanded version of self with what you could call ‘soul’ esteem’. Your values have shifted. Now you know what really matters in life and it has nothing to do with status or stuff. It has everything to do with the quality of your soul and your ability to love. New, soul matters and joyful expression take the place of the old patterns. Stuff continues to happen to you and you continue to do stuff. But its not really ‘doing’ anymore. You are coming now from an authentic place of ‘being’. You may succeed or you may fail, people may love you or they may hate you, but you’re fine with whatever happens. You know now that you are not in charge of the outcome. All you need to do is be as authentically real as possible and come from a place of love. The rest is none of your business. And that is very liberating! This is the archetype of The Sage and it is the very best place to be in terms of effortlessly attracting the circumstances that will allow you to live your best life in harmony with your soul purpose. No heroic effort necessary. You have your inner powers operational and have mastered your personal vibration so that life responds by bringing you experiences in resonance with your highest vibration. You have mastered personal vibration and are now in a position to help others learn, love and grow.
If you are feeling stuck in the birth canal wondering exactly how you are going to get your 'soul-esteem' and would like to be able to transform the lead in your journey into gold, then you may be someone who would benefit from my coaching program called A Crooked Line. Just hit the reply tab below so you can tell me about where you're at and we can explore if I can help you through some of the challenges of your journey so that you can find your own perfect place of contentment.
It probably feels like your life depends on it. I know that it felt that way for me. I sure would have liked some support back when Shiva was stomping on my ego. It would be an honour to me to be there for you now.