17 March 2014

Personal Legend

“It’s [your Personal Legend] what you have always wanted to accomplish. Everyone, when they are young, knows what their Personal Legend is. At that point in their lives, everything is clear and everything is possible. They are not afraid to dream, and to yearn for everything they would like to see happen to them in their lives. But, as time passes, a mysterious force begins to convince them that it will be impossible for them to realize their Personal Legend.”
This excerpt comes from one of my very favorite books, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. The story of The Alchemist is about being aware of omens and the pure magic that can be found what you tap into the wisdom of your heart and follow your dreams. This allegory, beautifully written and spiritually rich, illustrates how to realize and fulfill your Personal Legend, which is "what you have always wanted to accomplish." 

I picked out the quote above a few days ago, in hopes that reconnecting with this book and its allegory would help me to reconnect with my greater purpose. What has held my heart since I was little? What is my true calling? What am I meant to do in this life? In this body I've been given?

However, a multitude of obstacles kept me from getting this blog post started. Too many things were vying for my attention, and I was afraid to ask myself the necessary questions (probably because I feared that I didn't have the answers). Then, when I would get started, something/one would distract me and I never got the chance to finish until this afternoon. But I now see that there was a definite reason why I experienced those delays. Let me set the scene...

I don't know about you, but lately, I have been feeling lost and out of touch with what it is that I want, or perhaps more accurately, how to pursue it or what it would look like. Given the core theme of The Alchemist -- "when you want something, the whole universe conspires to help you achieve it," -- I have been feeling a pull to really visualize what that "something" is, so that the Universe can indeed help me pursue it. Because you have to know what you want to go after it, right?

But getting to that place of knowing, understanding, and accepting my purpose has been SUCH an uphill battle these last few days (weeks? months?). I am usually a free-flowing person -- always moving and covering new ground. I always have an agenda, something I'm working on or working towards. I don't DO "stuck." (After all, I'm an Aquarian... imaginative, an idea person). But not as of late. I was feeling like my forward momentum had periodically been jerked to a halt. I would be gliding through the water, taking long strides, and suddenly would be tangled in thick seaweed and couldn't propel myself forward. We all have moments like that. I am usually able to wriggle free fairly quickly and catch the next wave, but I've felt out of touch with the current that usually helps me find my way. I've been so tangled up and tossed around that I've nearly drowned, multiple times.

Feeling disconnected and without purpose drives me to tears, flippancy, and fits of hopelessness. Definitely not interested in those things. So, yesterday, I refreshed my commitment to reconnect with my core and figure out what my next step is. But I still wasn't ready or willing to ask myself the bigger question of WHY I was being held back. I just wanted to GET THERE ALREADY (red flag). 

But then, at the end of a roller coaster day, as I drove home... I saw the moon. BIG and bright, hanging low in the sky. It was a powerful, luminous full moon. I am usually so up to date on the moon cycle (hah! YOU all know that, because I make sure you know!) and how it might be affecting me and others, but I had been in such a funk that I hadn't even realized it.

When I brought up the full moon to a few of my friends, they said that, too, had been feeling its weight, or the pull of something outside of themselves lately. They had been turning their gaze inward and struggling to make sense of what they saw. What the heck was UP with this crazy moon? Some research later, I now understand the uncharacteristic mess of emotions and obstacles to achieve things I (and perhaps you) have been experiencing the last few weeks leading up to this moon.

Last night's full moon was in Virgo, the sign of the virgin. Christianity redefined "virgin" as sexual purity; but in ancient times, a virgin was a woman who belonged to no man - she was a woman in her own right and belonged only to herself. Last night's full moon called upon us to reclaim this virginal energy and to acknowledge our true selves and who we are meant to be. We each have a Personal Legend that we are destined to fulfill, and as much as that Legend is our own, it is also a part of the greater whole ("fear evaporates when you understand that your life story and the history of the world were written by the same hand").

Being part of the "greater whole" -- this can get messy (did somebody say, ego?). It can evoke the need to control (which I am all too familiar with) or to strive towards someone else's idea of what you should be up to, especially when your own purpose is not clear to you. But Virgo's strongest trait is discernment, clearly articulating with keen insight. Virgo's energy helps up to discover, and then master, our true talent and also understand how it can include others (be of service, be shared, used to connect). Did you feel a particular calling to be of service, to be part of a community, or to connect with others? (I mean, after you wanted to hide under the rock?) Virgo has a feminine spirit that is hopeful and full of wishful thinking for the greater society, which reminds us that we must help each other and have compassion. (Don't leave compassion for yourself out of this equation).

There is a slew of other forces contributing to the general tension or pressure we may be feeling lately (ala Saturn in Scorpio, Mars in retrograde, etc.) But what I really wanted to acknowledge was that if you were feeling lost, pulled to look within, or to latch on to a greater purpose... you are not alone. And, you are not crazy. You still with me? How this all connects back to The Alchemist... 

We can get so focused on the end goal (see: GET THERE ALREADY), in mapping out that destination and putting immense pressure on ourselves to "figure it out." In this state of frenzy and anxiety, trying to realize and then achieve our greater purpose, we MISS the journey completely. We agonize through it and wear blinders that keep us from seeing the omens, the hints, and the signs that can guide us along the way. Talk about taking the long way to get there! In these times of feeling lost, there are those secret windows and quiet whisperings - your intuition, your subconscious. And outside of your own body and mind, other people appear with wisdom to share (are you willing to listen?) and opportunities will show up like little trapdoors (scaredy cat?). 

Basically, despite the beauty in the quote, it won't always feel like the Universe is conspiring to help you achieve your Personal Legend. You will hit rough patches on your quest, for sure. But, on this journey, if you are trusting your gut, listening with an open heart, and are filled with love of the adventure (go back and read those three things again, honestly... you're going to skip it aren't you?)... if you are trusting your gut, listening with an open heart, and are filled with love of the adventureyou will surely connect with inspiration and possibility. (cue Florence singing "it's always darkest before the dawn" - or whatever super old proverb that came from).

You are the only thing holding yourself back. 

If you value safety and comfort, you will forfeit discovery and opportunity. What is your Personal Legend? You aren't going to figure it out sitting there!!! Go live with reckless abandon, you lovely person.

As the alchemist told Santiago, "Don't give into your fears... If you do, you won't be able to follow your heart... There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure."

06 March 2014

Declaration of Intention

I'm sensitive. I feel my feelings. And I feel all of them, the euphoric and the crushing, and I feel them deeply.

I feel other people's feelings. I take them on, I try them on. I have compassion. I try to heal others, make them feel better. I feel their feelings with them. 

I feel the weight of stress. I feel expectation. I feel time, and how little of it there is. 

I feel financial strain, and I wish, so badly, that we didn't have to deal with currency, and that we could just live in a world where kindness was cash. 

I want to do good. I want to be a part of something greater. I want to work with people who care about the well-being and empowerment and enlightenment of other people. I want to do that full-time.

I also want to have time to take care of myself. And I want to have enough time to help take care of the people that are important to me. 

I don't want to have to hide under a rock, every time I'm dealt a card that is just too much to face. I don't want to feel like I'm constantly waiting to get to the next step, just so I can breathe.

I don't want to feel like I can't confront things head on, because I already have too much on my plate.

I don't want to compartmentalize my life. I don't want to constantly toggle between tasks and commitments. I want to be able to give my attention completely and authentically. 

I'm sick of boundaries and limitations.

I just want to be free. I just want to be available to do the things that are important to me. I want to live a good, healthy, inspired, inspiring, empowered, insanely amazing, in-touch, cultured, vagabond life.

I want to connect with other people, on a deep, intimate level. I want to see the world through their eyes and learn how to create things together.

I want to feel what it feels like to dance without judgment. I want to see what I can think up when I let my mind be still. I want to drift towards where the Universe needs me most... where my purpose lies. 

And I want everyone else to have 'that' too. I want everyone to have the energy they need in order to love and have compassion for themselves and other people - the energy needed to really be able to do great things.

I want that. I want it yesterday, but I'll take it today.