The other day I became hyper aware of the duality that’s existing in my mind at all times. While most people see happy, optimistic Erika, there’s also my shadow side that’s incredibly self critical, doubtful, and careless. The majority of the time I feel pulled by both sides– both screaming at me, telling me what I should do, that I’ll amount to nothing, but also keep going you’re doing great and it’ll all work out! It’s overwhelming and nauseating. So I’ll numb myself out- shut it off so it’s finally quiet. But that’s not a solution, it’s an escape, and isn’t serving me at all.
According to Tantric philosophy, all pain, suffering and sickness comes from duality. The solution then is to pick a side. Henry Ford said: “‘Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.’”
I can’t believe I’m about to make a sports reference- but by entertaining both my healthy and self defeating thoughts, I am playing for both teams. It’s confusing as hell because imagine watching a soccer match where the players suddenly switch teams to shoot on their own nets. It would be chaos! You’d probably get bored and leave. And I feel that way. It becomes so chaotic in my mind that I numb out and become careless out of survival- opposite of my natural, deeply empathic and considerate way of being.
We need to choose a side. It takes self awareness, to notice our thoughts, our self criticism, doubts, worries, fears and say no, I’m not playing for that team. Because if we don’t choose a side, we’ll never win. So when we wake up in the morning and we don’t want to move, or when we’re looking at the workout bag and soo lazy, and when our thoughts are screaming at us that none of this is worth the effort, remember to play for the team that you’ve committed to playing for. Over time, the strength of this team will grow and we’ll start to reach milestones of success that the other team always told us were not possible.
It was brought to my awareness recently that in my rush to create more for myself, I was turning my life into a series of chores that need to get done. But as we know, it’s the journey, not the destination. Achieving a goal may bring us happiness but only temporarily. It’s the satisfaction that comes from accomplishments along the way that bring us fulfillment. But we don’t always appreciate these sometimes menial tasks as small accomplishments towards our desires. We lose sight of why we’re doing what we’re doing- the bigger picture, and life starts to lack it’s lustre a little bit more each time. It’s Saturday night and I’m at home writing this post. I could easily think of all the other ways I could be having fun, or I could feel genuinely excited that I’m choosing to stay home and write because it’s a small victory towards creating a life that inspire others to fulfil their highest potential as I fulfil my own. Playing Janga with pals, while fun, doesn’t quite have that same impact.
I’m currently taking a course on Tantra that requires me to do daily exercises. My initial response was, ugh, homework and reluctantly bullying and coaxing myself into doing the exercises, like forcing myself to meditate is really going to bring me any closer to enlightenment. But how often do we do this in life! We may dread working out to achieve our ideal bodies, or we’ll be excited to get a new project or client until we have to do the work. It doesn’t make any sense! We want these things, why aren’t we more excited to do the tasks that will get us there?
Consider this. We have the freedom and sovereignty to desire anything- any dream, and the power to make it happen for ourselves. Feel into this. This is incredibly exciting!
It’s easy to focus on the fear, the bumps we’ll hit along the way, the ways we’ve gotten hurt and disappointed in the past. Struggles will always show up because this existence is one of duality. But if we only focus on the bad, then this is all we’ll see.
We need to focus on the big picture. Focus on our visions with complete gratitude that we get to have these visions and that they’re just on the other side of coming true for us. Fully savour this experience. We’re getting exactly what we want and we’re making it happen for ourselves. This is powerful.
Sometimes we need to remember there’s delayed gratification, where the benefit from doing something will come tenfold when we hold out a little longer. Or, if we do try something and decide we don’t actually want it, then we have the power to change course. How empowering that we get to make these choices. We’re in control of our own lives. Depression stems from feeling out of control, and being productive rather than procrastinating can be difficult when we’ve lost focus. But instead of accepting that everything feels like a drag, let’s intend everything we do as a step towards what we desire, and feel the excitement that accompanies that.
Sound familiar? This is my story, one of my deepest wounds and biggest struggles. To offer some support on your journey, here I share the lessons I’ve learned to overcome this.
Have you heard of HSP? Highly Sensitive Person. It’s someone who is extra sensitive to lights, tastes, sounds, emotions, energies, etc, thus causing one to isolate themselves to the beauty of a quiet room where they can retreat in peace. More information is available here: http://hsperson.com/
I relate to being an HSP. My most sensitive eccentricities include loud noises and my sometimes overwhelming emotions. And so I wonder what are the benefits of being highly sensitive? Can it be a super power instead of a hindrance? Totally! Our sensitive emotions can intuitively detect red flags faster than the average person. And this detection system can be used to direct our lives towards creating something that is in line with our highest good and fulfillment.
If we aspire for greatness, then we want to surround ourselves with people that lift us up and inspire us because, as Jim Rohn says, we are the average of the 5 people we spend the most time with. Our sensitivity gives us a clear indication of how healthy a relationship is. If you have two people, one highly sensitive and one of average sensitivity, and both are spending time with someone who is incredibly charming, funny, beautiful, but, even unbeknownst to them has poor intentions, the person most likely to pick up on this is the highly sensitive one. The trick is to trust yourself, trust your gut, your intuitive feelings. Listen to your heart, the little voice inside, even if your eyes, mind and even sex organ desire a different outcome.
HSPs tend to be peacekeepers. Because they are sensitive to conflict and violence, they would never want to start it. But it is necessary for you to be brave. Nice isn’t powerful. If you know with your whole being that you need to step away from a potentially harmful situation, despite what the results may be, YOU HAVE TO DO IT. And you WILL continue to make the same mistakes until you finally learn to listen.
Honour yourself. The only way you will get to where you desire to be, to where your most fulfillment and enlightenment is, is by honouring your needs and making sometimes tough decisions to do what’s right for you. You will never regret these choices. I’ve had to let go of many relationships, and not always because the people are bad people, they could potentially be the most beautiful and kind, but they were not right for me at that time. And sometimes the test is just to listen and honour our highest honesty.
Trust in the abundance of life. By letting someone or even something go, it’s never a loss. A new door ALWAYS opens- it’s the universal law of balance. Holding on can be more painful sometimes than just letting go. And we need to consider the longterm. It may be comfortable now, but how comfortable will you be if you keep holding on. Is this worth you being held back? And notice the intention behind why you are are choosing to leave.
If the intention to leave is to get away from someone because they’re bothering you- then you may be running away. Stop making it about them and make it about you. Acknowledge this person as your teacher. There is something to learn here. Be grateful for how they activate your wounds and triggers, breathe deeply, feel deeply, process until the emotions have been transmuted into something else. Work with a healer if you need extra help. This is what it means to be AWAKE. When we can remain awake during these most challenging times is when we grow the most. An excellent exercise is to go through everyone in your life that bothers you and clear away these bothers using the burning method: writing everything down on a piece of paper until there’s nothing left to say and you feel neutral; and then burning the paper outside.
The best intention to have when leaving a relationship, environment, item, is because you are choosing to open up space for someone or something that is in alignment with your highest good. Do you want to grow or do you want to stay the same? Because complaining and judging will keep you stuck.
The archetypes of Victim and Creator are at play here. The Victim is the sad sensitive person that feels sorry for themselves and needs to hide away at home because everyone hurts them.
The Creator is the empowered HSP who chooses who they surround themselves with, and when triggered, uses it as an opportunity to self reflect, clear, and thus level up to an even better version of themselves. The Creator honours their intuition about situations, notices red flags, without judgement, but with confident discernment and chooses to make decisions that are in their highest interest. Because what is good for us, is good for all. Never enable the poor behaviour of others or this world will never change.
As an HSP you have a super power. It’s like x-ray vision into the intentions and motivations of others. The more you acknowledge red flags and act accordingly, the easier it gets to notice them and to trust yourself. Now, with every person I meet and situation I’m in, I go in paying attention and am honest with any red flags I pick up on, even if I’m not sure, I’m honest about how I’m feeling. Again, this doesn’t mean the person or situation is bad- it just means it’s not right for me right now. From this, I’m able to make a decision that is clear, honest, informed, and supports the cultivation of my most beautiful life.
We’re in an age of individuation. Where in the past we would associate ourselves with our family systems or community, ‘I am my tribe’ now, we can be connected with our tribe, but we are an individual person learning to be an authentic creative expression of our souls. We are rebels! Lightworkers. Resisting conforming to the expectations and judgements of others. We have street fashion and Kickstarter campaigns fueling our individuation and creative expression.
Photo by Robert Moses Joyce
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