10 Ways To Grow
I have not properly documented the last seven years of transformation. I was not journaling for most of it, my medical records are more a reflection of my doctor’s lack of active listening than reality, and tracking my growth on social media is a three months new thing. But there are certain ways in which I have shown up and experimented that I believe are worth a try for anyone looking to grow. Here are my TOP 10 for the active seeker in 2018. Resources at the bottom.
1. Community. There are a ba-gillion new studies on how people with community live longer and are happier. I do a lot of my work in solitude but it is feeding off of the energy I get when I am with a group of people who see me and ask for my best. That group you have always wanted to be a part of? Join it. Do what makes you happy and meet like-minded beings that way.
2. Do Yoga and Meditate. This was also where I found my first communities and it was the best combo. Elevated beings, or at least folks trying to be. It is contagious to be around people who are actively slowing down. Yoga and mediation can be both curative and preventative. They just make life brand new.
3. Make Food your Medicine. Change your relationship to food as fuel for your cells. By paying homage to my body and the work that it does for me, I find that my relationship to food, cravings, and weight obsession has changed. I am not immune to societal pressures, but righting this relationship has largely cleared me of the guilt and shame that can attach themselves to food choices. Much more in my previous week’s blog, including resources.
4. Move. For me this literally meant changing parts of town every couple of years. I naturally like routine, down-time, and repose so moving kept things fresh and kept me on my toes. But I also need daily movement, and I believe we all do in order to have the revelations and life shake-ups to go forward. Dance, yoga, sports, swimming, whatever does it for you, but MOVE.
5. Be a Student. Be a Teacher. Put yourself in the uncomfortable position of both. Admit what you do not know and want to learn and do that. Admit to your gifts and talents and share them. Neither of these has to be in a traditional or formal setting, perhaps all the better if not. Your teacher can also be Wikipedia. Just be curious and explore. Bold in offering what could be of service to others. What is the worst that could happen?
6. Do Therapy. This does not have to be talk therapy, although for me it needed to be. I tried so many other forms that were just skirting around the underlying childhood issues. Good healing came from all of it but the talk therapy was necessary. I found someone who specialised in mindfulness because that was familiar and attractive to me and it made it doable. I got meditation assignments, and that I could do. And with those assignments, I had major insight and growth around self-love. In between this solo work, I had someone impartial at the ready to process it with. Six months later I felt complete with this form of therapy and opened up to dance as healing.
7. Self-Love. An active verb. Somewhat of a catch-all, easy to roll the eyes at. But I would say this is the single determinant on all other forms of growth being successful. If you don’t love the self, your subconscious will just find sneaky ways to sabotage what you are doing. You can’t heal if you don’t think you deserve to feel whole. Intentions can be powerful energy but without self-love to back them up, they don’t have the oomph to get the job done. I began with Metta meditation and I recommend this as a first step for everyone.
8. Heal your Sex. Despite chronic pussy pain, it took me decades to face the work needed around desire and pleasure. I felt a calling to study the ways of Tantric and simply googled it for my area. I was led to begin with Conscious Touch Labs. These were a safe space for me to explore little by little my no’s and yes’s. With lots of communication. And they were sexual but not. Fully clothed, no end-goal in mind, no pressure. It ended up being a journey deeper into self-love and being enough, of owning what I deserve and can ask for, and what I can turn down that does not serve me. I cannot stress enough how this spilled over into every facet of my life and made me a stronger, more self-sufficient woman.
9. Make Nature your Friend. I believe her to be the ultimate healer. And ritual and ceremony to be the way to be in communion with her. To really hear her and the gifts she has to offer and what I can offer in return. Having a friend who prioritised this was tantamount to my entry into this world. We took hikes and I found my being softening. My voice changed to a whisper as I spoke to the ferns. We discovered her together, saw her with new eyes, held hands and skipped at some points. It changed me.
10. See the Divine. All of this naturally led to being in union with the Divine. As I connected to myself, nature, and others more, I could so clearly see the Divine in everything. Three years ago when I consciously began to heal, I identified as an Atheist and was adverse to saying the word God. Kundalini Yoga was the first to break me in this with meditations where I was called to say this word again and again. I was able to see how much hurt and resentment I was holding around this. I was not an Atheist, I was an angry person who felt betrayed by the Universe. In righting this relationship, my existence has become magic and me and the Divine work together for the highest good every day. Or I try, I try, I keep trying.