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As I kneeled in a ritual to round out the year, to release what no longer served me, the question was asked, “What is it you are ready to shed?”
I bowed, with a room of eyes looking at me in the sacred space of a woman’s circle—a safe container to allow whatever it was that I needed to release to come up without judgment. What was it I wanted to get out? What needed release?
The swell rose in me tingling up my body, travelling through my core into my heart centre. Then my eyes welled up. I needed nothing more than to just shed the sh*t—the self-judgment, doubt, comparison, and the monkey mind that won’t sit still when I call it. I needed to be able to trust me and back me unapologetically.
It had been my year to finally shed the shackles of my egoic cage that has had me staying in the small safe confines of my boring comfort. The year had offered me nothing less than epic spiritual assignments to test and practice this release. Old wounds resurfaced, and old lessons returned in different guises to test how far I’d come and if I was truly ready.
My most recent challenge was when I’d been asked if I would step up and speak at a fundraiser, as I am known in my communities for facilitating women’s circles and mother’s blessings. Would I stand up in front of hundreds of people from my fishing and mining community and bless the evening with words to set the tone of the “dark magic” themed night?
As the organiser was asking me this, I had already whispered to myself, “Hell no!” But then something bubbled in me, a memory of an old lesson when I played real small in my fear, one I did not grab the reigns of, and sat in shameful comfort with.
I had been asked by a radio host if I would speak on air when they travelled to my isolated community. They wanted to hear from a range of voices living in outback Australia, what life and struggles were like—more particularly, they wanted me to talk of my yoga and hypnobirthing craft.
They came, they called, and they messaged—I made excuses and never showed up. The hangover from letting myself down in my fear then still had a residue as I stood in front of the organiser of the fundraiser.
Would I stand up and speak on this evening at one of the biggest events of the year? I couldn’t answer her, but said I would consider it, and she said she would contact me to talk more.
As the weeks passed by she did not reach out again. A part of me thought, “Yes, she has changed her mind, or perhaps found someone else.” Then, that old familiar feeling of disappointment entered me, and I reluctantly messaged her thanking her for considering me, and asking if she would still like me to do it—a moment of bravery. “Yes!” she answered.
Both of us in the flux of parenting and work, nothing else was discussed, and in the week before the event I realised still nothing had been confirmed. I could have easily let it go and almost did, but instead I reached out two days before and her response was a massive, “Yes please, and sorry for not being in touch. Life is so chaotic at the moment!”
I knew in my heart I had to do it, not just for her, not only for my community, but more for myself. I was nervous, but not as much as I was excited once I’d become confident that I knew what I wanted to convey. If I could deliver it with a bit of theatre it would be a gift to set the tone of the evening—a service not only to myself, to my fear, but also to my community.
That familiar gentle pulse of fear in my belly rose moments before my speech. I whispered to myself, “The one person I never want to disappoint is myself. I’m done with those hangovers.” I stood in confidence and owned it—it was the best night!
At every turn on the winding path of life that this year has led me round, it has asked, “Are you ready? Are you truly ready?” And my humanness has been there, eager to wrap its arms of safety around my soul, and drag me back through the winding range thus far, back into the small cage of comfort.
I choose now to allow the noise in my mind to disappear into boring background blur as I bellow, “Yes! I’m ready.” And push forward around another corner of unknown into new brave territory awaiting my ego to come at me head-on in the wrong lane.
Ever vigilant, like a silent war within myself, I’m armed and battling the old shackles of my ego and humanness. My head is out, my neck vulnerable to the slice of the ego’s knife, but the bleed caused by these stinging lessons is forming strong scar tissue that will prevent the next cut from being so deep. Like a shield of hardened defences, through my bravery and willingness to look at this dark shadow of my humanness, I’ve grown stronger and more aware. I’ve become a warrior fighting for her own heart expression.
When will I stand clearly out in front of the blur, uncontaminated by my mind, without effort, without the battle of exhaustion and doubt? When will I travel a highway free of obstacles, free of comparison, travelling in my own lane, going as fast or slow as I like, free of the weight, and the wind lag of the ego’s doubt constantly pulling me back?
Who was I kidding to think this work could be wrapped up in one year?
While saying yes to fear has me turning the corners of life’s winding range a little less tense and more trusting—no longer like a turtle with its head tucked in its shell, taking the corners blindly—I have yet to fully shed the sh*t of my self-judgment, self-doubt, and self-comparison. I have edged ever closer to the person that I want to be, though, and I am proud of me.
Through bravely taking the windy road, I feel perhaps the new year will offer a few shaved corners of ease and peace—my heart boldly and proudly ebbing into its first real lead.