Ya’ll might be familiar with the “onion theory” and perhaps your life has even been described to you as an onion—a new layer waiting to be discovered under each new layer—by an energy healer and mentor like me.
I have used this analogy to describe my own ever-unfolding journey as well as my clients’ numerous times but I’ve recently stopped using it. I’m interested to see if you too resonate with the new way I’m looking at my life and my energy mentoring programs. I’ll give you a hint: it involves chocolate!
So how does something a discovery like this come about?
I was working with an energy mentoring client recently, and they were reflecting on how long their life has been full of patterns and cycles of painful emotional states and anxiety-ridden thoughts (I know that scene all too well). When this client opened up to honor me with their experience, I found it more than a little trite to just say, “Well kid, it’s just another layer of the onion and these cycles of experience will keep coming back until you’re done with that layer.” That is all good and true but my intuition instantly wanted to discover this “onion theory” a bit deeper because it has some flaws.
One of the flaws of this theory is that it implies that there is an end, that one day we will have learned all of our lessons and experienced everything we need to experience, and we’ll be at the core of the onion with nothing left to learn or experience or expand to. It also implies that that core is when we will finally reach enlightenment and not a moment before. This theory also leaves little choice or freewill in the matter, it’s like our life has already been sets up for us whether we like it or not.
After I considered all those flaws of the theory my train of thoughts brought me to one of my favorite things—chocolate! I’ll give credit to Forest Gump, but life is totally like a box of chocolates, people. Seriously.
Let’s dissect this analogy and dig deeper. My hope is that it will give you some inspiration, compassion, and sense of choice in your own life.
So chocolates. A box of chocolates. The really gourmet kind adorned with coconut sprinkles, cayenne, gooey-filled centers, sea salt, and the darkest most decadent varieties you have ever tasted. And then there’s the duds. The two or three in the box that you take a bite of expecting your mouth to explode with rich, chocolatey goodness and then your face grows sour as you realize this one has that flavor that you loathe so much. You immediately exclaim, “Why would someone put this with chocolate!” but at the same time someone else says, “Oh, I love those kind. They’re my favorite!” So you get over it, and every time in the future you go for the chocolates in the box you know which ones you love and leave the rest for someone else but this analogy only works if it is a magical box of chocolates that is never-ending, so it’s impossible to finish the box.
Now, let’s go back to my client then, with this new analogy. What would you say to them or to yourself if you find cycles in your life that you want to let go of? You simply tell them, and yourself, to put that nasty flavor down. It’s not something you want anymore. So put. It. Down.
There are flavors and sensations your tongue is dying to experience! You are so in tune with your inner guidance that every cell in your body is telling you that eating what you are currently eating is creating pain for you but no one is making you eat that particular chocolate. No one but yourself.
You have the power to choose the chocolate right next to that one that sends fireworks exploding in your mouth. Really, you do! And you never have to worry that you won’t have any more nice chocolates that you enjoy to choose from because there is a never-ending supply. And you never have to worry that someone else won’t get their share if you eat all you want because everyone in the whole universe has their very own magical chocolate box.
I’ve been using this analogy on myself lately. The hating of the old parts of myself and my past has been getting old and so has that old feeling like I am doomed to continually cycle my family’s beliefs unless I tackle them to the ground and kill them (must be my Kali coming out).
So you might be wondering what that actually looks like in real life. How do you even know that you are eating a piece of chocolate that you don’t like?
The answer is found in your daily experience.
Are you totally in love with every aspect of your life? Do you dig everything you get to do, who you get to be around, what you are learning each day, and the place you call home? If not, you might be eating some dud chocolate. You can ask yourself what you’d like to be better and what is the exact piece of chocolate that you need to put down in order to choose what you do want.
Disclaimer: I am a healer and mentor but I do not claim to have no need for the tools that I teach. It is actually because I use the tools every day that I feel confident in passing them on to my clients. I know how valuable energy tools and my intuition are each and every day of my life. So know that these teaching have been tested and approved by someone like myself who is constantly interested in more expansion and more illumination of my shadow.
Each day is a choice. I can choose to get out of bed, or not. I can choose to eat healthy, sustaining foods, or not. I can choose to show others compassion and myself, or not. If it feels like others have what I want it’s my healthy envy showing me they already put down that chocolate that I’m still eating. I remind myself that all I have to do is pick up the piece I want and I’ll be able to have the same experiences.
I recently knew what piece of chocolate I was eating because of an interaction I had with my partner. We were discussing the agenda for the day, and I stated I wanted to get the long walk downtown to accomplish an errand out of the way first because it will require a lot of energy. His response was quick, and it shot me to the core. He said, “You teach people about their energy, but you don’t have any energy yourself.”
Bam. I felt deflated in less than a second.
My partner is a jokester and is very playful so he immediately said something like, “I was just kidding. It’s not like that.” But I stayed with my emotion and sat quietly to identify it. I knew there was an immense amount of sadness there because when he tried to help me get up off the ground where we had been discussing our day I wanted him to back off and not touch me. Sadness sometimes wants hugs and sometimes it wants space. I also thought to myself, “Awesome. Sadness. Sadness comes to let go. What is being called for me to let go of in this moment? What piece of chocolate am I holding on to?”
I went to sit out in the sun to get some space. The answer was already there—I was eating the chocolate piece labeled “unworthiness.” I knew this was something big for me and that I had been eating for a long time because the same theme came up in last month’s Sacred Yoni Circle (which is a local woman’s group that I facilitate). The oracle card I pulled during our check-in’s was worthy.
I decided to dig a little deeper since this was obviously a difficult piece of chocolate for me to let go of. I asked myself what positive things do I get out of eating this morsel of unworthiness? The answers started flooding in. My intuition was on it:
1. People constantly telling me how great I am.
2. Asking for help and assistance from others to see if they will show me I’m worthy, and receiving that help.
3. Having an amazingly intelligent, playful, and passionate partner that shows me I’m worthy by his presence.
Do you see a pattern? These three positive things I got out of holding on to unworthiness and all of the others I came up with have to do with how other people see me as worthy or not worthy. That means that the second someone didn’t see me as the glorious shining light that we all are, I instantly got deflated. Completely. Because all of my worth was tied up with other people’s opinions.
As I sat with these answers another illumination hit me. It was also difficult to let go of this particular piece because my ego was afraid that if I did feel an inner sense of worthiness that everything on the outside that I have created will go away. My ego was afraid that changing might mean less happiness. It might mean my partner and I splitting up. It might mean that I don’t need my friends anymore. It might mean that if I am not broken that the help around me will vanish, and I will be left all alone.
And that’s what the ego likes to do. It likes to hold on to the identity it believes in. I knew this wasn’t my intuition speaking because when I plugged in to my grounding it felt extraneous and chaotic, grasping for life. It didn’t feel calm and expansive like my intuition feels.
So I took a deep breath. I consciously strengthened my boundary through my breath and saw myself putting the chocolate down.
Self-worth, inner value was sparkling and shining in the box. I chose that piece and immediately felt a surge of energy return. I felt at home.
I will remember what it feels like to savor self-worth. Whenever I’m feeling unworthy again I’ll plug in to myself and remember that I get to choose the chocolates. I can choose something different. I can spit out that orange-flavored milk chocolate piece with an aftertaste of circus peanuts.
I give myself permission to taste my own particular orgasmic flavor. I’m going for that cayenne/ginger dark chocolate truffle sitting over there in the left corner of my box.
Author: Hannah Egner
Editor: Katarina Tavčar