Thursday, May 8, 2014

Going Higher: A New You, A New Me

I had hit that point. The place where evolution was inevitable, progress painful and backpedaling inconceivable. I became uncomfortable with my life. Dissatisfied with my circumstances, friction between my truth and others assumptions grew. I had chosen to be small at the expense of shielding others and it had cost me dearly. My disharmony was made complete as the very place I sought sanctuary caused me bitterness, discontent and longing for protection. I felt diminutive and ugly like a slug. Little did I know I was a caterpillar getting ready to sprout butterfly wings. I could no longer hide my light.

I was uneasy with my own efforts. I had prayed, meditated and read scripture. However, what I envisioned, smacked in the face of reality. I groped the air for solace, reaching out to mankind for answers. I thirsted after change, the kind which required a higher-self only God could facilitate. Forced to seek answers and comfort on a higher plane, I took a leap of faith. I sojourned into the unknown.

Oftentimes completing your purpose requires seclusion or as my good friend Victoria reminded me, "separation is necessary for elevation." Jesus Christ often prayed alone before a major moment, scholars often go on sabbatical. How often have you said, "I need a vacation?" In actuality it is not just the much-needed rest, as much as the peace of mind that you crave. It is not the pool or the ocean as much as the feeling of weightlessness that only water can bring. Sure, umbrella-laden fruity drinks are cool, but the real intent is time for you. A pampering, a stepping back where time stands still. I was fortunate enough to visit a place likened to the Garden of Eden. If you do not yet have the means to do so, let me point out the prep work required to reach that destination. I set my intention for change way before I arrived.

1. Decide you are worth living, not just existing. ~No, seriously. Re-read this one.
2. Slow down and breathe.
    How can you recognize the little miracles, the beauty and love around you if your life is a blur?
3. Make time for you. Become your own priority.
    Consider yourself to be an Olympic athlete. Mind, Body, Soul require good health. As I stated in a        
    previous post. Follow the airlines passenger instructions: "Place your oxygen mask on first."
4. Welcome opposition as a challenge that teaches you perseverance, strength and knowledge.
5. Whatever led you to this point...let go of the blame/anger.
    I mean it. Forgive who hurt you. Forgive yourself. Whatever it takes to move forward in your life. Prayer,     Meditation, Counseling, Life Coach, or simply a removal of people, places and things.
6. Accept yourself fully. Someone loves you as you are, and if you disagree. Be your best self and see the  
   different types of people and situations you attract to foster your genuine self.
7. Laugh hardily.
8. Find an outlet: Yoga, Fitness, The Performing Arts or Sports. Writing or Knitting, Restoration Projects or     Volunteering, the possibilities are endless.
9. Be alert, not anxious. (This one really speaks to me). I believe God's timing is the perfect timing.
    Many things need to be lined up just right in the Universe before you achieve specific long-term goals.  
    Learn to wait with joy for what is to come.
10. It is perfectly acceptable to make mistakes.This is how you gain wisdom. Trial and error. If you are a            repeat offender, look towards the common denominators, root out the core issues. Deal with them.        
     Change course.

I sought to practice the 10 items above until they became more natural and less routine. Perhaps you are a parent, executive or a person low on cash or credit. Try a day-cation, or a few hours to yourself per week. How about a 20 min segment at the beginning or end of day where you take a moment of gratitude and peace in your car, bathroom, basement, on your porch, or in a local park. No excuses. Believe it and the opportunity of a trusted baby-sitter, good project partner, vacation discount will come in its own time, when you let go of I CAN'T.

Countless stories of old speak of the all-important step that occurs before an event, breakthrough or miracle. It is the sacrifice of leaving loved ones and your comfort zone behind. I set out to become a better me, not a different me, but a fearless self, one that recognized my inner greatness. This was the moment. I could feel the testing of my faith. Every sign read impossible except for the one far in the distance. It was the final puzzle piece that would push my purpose into existence. If I ignored my surroundings, I hoped I would be able to move forward, yet my conviction had begun to wane. I had to act quickly before hopelessness became my reality.

As i think of it now, my spirit swells. I am not the same and this shifting/molding was one of the hardest things of my life. I let my own God-given voice be my guide and disconnected from society. I removed myself from people and places that refused to resonate with who I was inside. I retreated to a place of refuge sculpted by God. At the behest of my fearless, yet sensitive leader and a merry band of women, I set out on a retreat that would change my scope. Water, sunlight, sky, fire, many elements were personified as my connection with God's glory deepened. In this space, I found a perfect setting to purge, pray, and praise. Removed from modern amenities, I released woes, pressure and fear and activated the true me. Who am I? A free-spirit, unbound by my past. A "Seer" with infinite possibilities.

I separated to elevate. Like seeing my life from a bird's-eye view, I gained profound wisdom by glimpsing the grand picture. Meanwhile, I set the intention through faith to find a place and a group where I could disrobe figuratively and literally. To the world it was crazy, a luxury, a whim, an oddity. But I knew I had let life dim my light. I took drastic measures of self-actualization and self-preservation. I give myself love, not shame in this exploratory moment.

Dedicated to Coach Stephanie Alva of My Life Keys, Kalani Retreat (Pahoa, HI) and my new "Titas" (sisters in Hawaiian), who helped facilitate my growth through love and perseverance. In the words of my college motto, "Hazard Zet Forward," (Despite hazards, Move forward).