being human,  embodiment,  learning,  writing

A New Moon Cycle

It’s been a month now since my spiritual crisis began, and I believe I’m moving into ‘phase four.’ I hesitate to say that I am through it, because of all of the phases and because, in life does anything really end? Our life journey — the experience of aliveness — is certainly marked by mini-deaths but the span of it seems to me to be on a continuum that never truly ends. I wonder if the same is true of our passing from this plane of existence to the next at the event we call physical death here on earth.

For posterity’s sake I’d like to outline phases two and three here, for my own benefit and for anyone else who might go through such a thing. I recognize now that phase one started with an inner knowing, a ‘seeing through the matrix’ of ‘life,’ or more accurately the systems that unfortunately define us, followed by external validation that grew the knowing exponentially within me. It’s important to note that it began inside … a call from beyond suggesting something lots of things weren’t right, followed by my verbalizing it to people I trust, and finally having that external validation land in my inbox where I could read more, mull it over, and unfortunately internalize a bit too deeply for my liking. What followed was an almost two week debilitating illness which I outlined here.

Phase two was the purge. Somewhere at the end of the first two weeks, I gained a good bit of strength. I wanted to eat for a few days, but only whole healthy food. The energy I gained from that time allowed me to purge our home of any and all toxins: ‘food’ that was really non-food (boxed, GMO, etc.), toxic household cleaners, non-vegan, non-cruelty free beauty care items, old pots and pans (teflon) and anything else that didn’t feel right. I also prayed, chanted and saged our home. The purge lasted a few days, long enough to get it all out of our home and immediate surroundings, and then phase three began.

Phase three took me back into illness. Luckily not as severe as phase one, but concerning nonetheless. I began to have aches and pains in specific parts of my body that would not leave. I continued to have disrupted sleep … entire nights of only minutes of sleep for several days in a row. I ran a low grade fever of 99.5 to 100.5 for about two weeks, and my resting heart rate stayed between 100 and 120 when it is normally 60 to 70. The high resting heart rate gave me shortness of breath easily. I felt drained. (I still do but to a little lesser of a degree.) Emotions were all over the place. I felt helpless, sadness, anger and despair.

During phase three I also began a variety of holistic, healing therapies. I communicated regularly with a trusted spiritual mentor, began Accupuncture, lymphatic draining massage, osteopathic manipulation treatment, plus started working with a medical intuitive who brings in a plethora of modalities to balance the chakras, restore life energy, eliminate negative beliefs (+ insert new positive ones) … quite simply and naturally, a reestablishing of the wholeness that already exists within this divine body given to me by our creator. I also had raw, honest, heart-to-heart conversations with my beloved and a few trusted friends. Phase three seems to have brought a deeper intuitive knowing within, a knowing that was never lost, only covered up by un-wellness and dis-ease. It’s uncovered deeper work that needs done.

God willing, I am moving into phase four now. I don’t know how it looks exactly but there’s a deep drive toward creating equilibrium and homeostasis. It feels like a phase of ‘remembering,’ as my dear friend Tonya calls it; a deep remembering of who I am before this world got ahold of me, and of recognizing all the ways I got lost along the way.

In retrospect, I see there were big signs, embodied signals that date back to late 2021/early 2022. This pain in my shoulder hasn’t subsided for the last year and half, and earlier this year, I suffered a debilitating structural issue that shifted my pubis symphysis (the center point between the two hip joints … holy hell was that painful!). The body knows. It always knows. We just have not been properly trained to listen. As Bessel Vanderkolk’s book title states so wisely, “the body keeps the score”. Indeed.

As I write this, I believe I’m moving into phase four because I’ve now had two nights of actual sleep, not uninterrupted, but seven hours total each night — last night and two nights ago. My body feels less charged. My resting heart rate is still high but coming down. I can get out for walks in the woods and I am eating food again, as opposed to only liquid. I am hopeful with continued effort and remembering, I will make my way to gorgeous wholeness, in its own time.

And that’s the thing. I have to be okay with a timing not established, expected, willed or forced by me. Sure, I believe I have some control over it but not total control. Like the deep lessons imparted throughout my Living School journey. Life is never either/or. It is always both/and. I must work AND surrender. Effort AND accept. It’s the exact message of Jesus on the cross … in his humanness, he cried out to our Father in deep despair, ‘why have you forsaken me?’ (please take this cup from me; I don’t want it!) and in the next breath, ‘not my will but yours, God.’ That’s the thing with life. We think we can control it all. Sure, we have free will, but there is a lot more going on. Surrender and acceptance heals us faster than force. In fact, the strongest force in the world is love … unforced, freely given, easeful and light.

Finally, a few markers to point out … at the onset of this illness/crisis was the knowing I wrote of earlier, but it was also the culmination of my two year Living School journey — the week of symposium, an important outward marker of time on my spiritual journey — a journey that changed me from the inside out. My daughter had also just left for a two week army training (something only required once per year), and looking back I see the beginning and ‘end’ were marked by the gorgeous, dark, mysterious new moon.

Maybe one day more will be clear, but for now I choose to be grateful. It was awful and I’ve begged for it to never occur again, but I am changed. It’s always that way in the Heroine’s Journey. This life. I am in awe.

Photo by Joshua Bayliss on Unsplash