Felt & Illuminated
It’s been a while since I wrote out an entry for my blog. And yet, the time has come again to stream my consciousness.
The reason I have been quite distant from my website upkeep is because I have been working on crafting my first ever novel. A book about me – about my life, as I know it. With its ups and downs, depths and shallows. What I am realizing, though, is that there truly is more to my story than I, let alone anyone else, really know.
Lately, I’ve been having dreams. Deep dreams connected to parts of my unconscious mind I hadn’t explored until now. These are manifestations of an old wound, one that has festered within my own psyche. The past few months have been a journey of traveling down, down, down like a mermaid, into my being. Exploring where the hurt is and following it into the deepest caves of the heart, finding places of great wonder, and in serious need of nurturing. This decision to write a book has turned out to become a very profound chapter of my life as an Artist. And so, without spilling my own beans too much let’s flashback to when I was living in Paris, shall we?
Many moons ago – four and a half years ago to be precise – I began my study abroad program in Paris. My friend and I rented an apartment in the Premier Arrondissement and settled right into to the dazzling rhythm alive in the City of Lights. Day after day, I would get lost in the jardins and the museums, listening to music on my headphones as I shopped the small stores lining the market streets, riding the metro to Montmartre with a gaggle of friends just so we could take in the full awesomeness of the city, blanketed in that fuchsia haze and the ever present smell of tobacco wafting. My life in Paris was a dream. And living such dream began to impact the way I saw reality. I became more my Self, more empowered, more embodied. I meditated by the Seine almost every day, and soon a thought was planted like a magic bean in my mind, and grew and grew and grew…
Alas, the dream which changed everything. One night, sound asleep in my tiny room which was only two feet larger than the double bed on each side, one that conveniently slipped up into the wall, I awoke startled and pulsing with an uncomfortable feeling in my chest. Not fear, but a mix of shame and regret – and possible betrayal. The fleeting vision associated with said feelings still gripped my groggy mind… I remember vomiting in my dream, but it wasn’t a normal feeling of sickness, it was like I was purging an old truth, a dying ethos. I threw up pounds and pounds of, bizarrely, dried black beans, and my mom was there coaxing me through it. Then, suddenly, I arose and looked in the mirror to find my nose had been removed and in its place was a pile of black beans, giving the impression that my whole face and body was full of them! As far as dreams go, this was right up there with the weirdest ones I have ever had.
Until now, I’d never looked up the symbolism of this dream. The bean is meant to represent growth and the nose to represent intuition. And, looking back, this makes sense – both the interpretation and why I didn’t want/need to know the meaning until now. This was just before I made a huge decision. A choice that was to affect the rest of my life. Although it was groundbreaking and part of me was very afraid of the outcome, the final decision to stop taking my medication was like flipping a switch.
Something I have never shared publicly, nor with many close friends, is this: Since I was about ten years old, I was medicated. I have taken mood stabilizers pretty much my whole life. During grade school, during puberty, for my first menstruation, high school, and moving cross country, then college, and right up until I left home to study abroad. To say I needed some space to reevaluate things is an understatement. I needed an escape, I needed to get as far away from normalcy as possible. The conformity of western society never welcomed me, never loved me, and trapped me inside my own skin. With the weight of the world crushing my feeling heart, I broke the spell.
So there I was, in a foreign city dreaming of being full of magic beans, when one day I simply and quite deliberately threw those big grey pills, which tasted like coated chemicals, in the trash and never looked back. It was time to get to know who I really was, to explore all facets of my personality. I wanted to know myself… My consciousness instantly burst free. My third eye opened. My perspective realigned. My creativity exploded and I journaled, drew, and dreamt in ways I hadn’t since I was a little girl. Before my mood swings stopped. Before my heart was caged.
It’s been four years since that day and much has changed. My voice is louder and more clear in my heart. I can hear the song, my song. And it is getting stronger and stronger with every deep dive I take to submerge into my healing. I raise my spirits when they sink low, and I soothe my mind if it gets overactive. I am my own barometer. And I like it that way. When I feel low, I connect to my hands and I make art. I spend hours, days, even weeks alone with nothing but my thoughts and a wellspring of forgotten emotions that are slowly making their way to the surface again. This has been the reawakening that has consumed me for the past few months.
And this has not been by any means an easy process. Writing a book from the core of my authentic self is an excruciating remembrance. I feel all the things. All the feels that have coated and piled up around my inner child like a mask of tar are finally melting, a dethaw making space for my joy and happiness to live freely, without interference. And, of course, I had another powerful dream just a few weeks ago to solidify the unfoldment…
I was on a meditation retreat somewhere near the sea. When I went down for my one-on-one with the spiritual teacher. She began to seize my demons, pulling the energy out of me, attempting to clear me of whatever was blocking me from my Source. Then, suddenly, my demon rose from a puddle nearby in the woods; so I instantly chased it to the sea, sending it to the water’s edge, when instead of fading into the ocean like my dreaming mind had planned, the creature, covered in a dripping black tar, turned and looked at me. It looked at me the way one may look at herself when she catches her reflection in the mirror. And then, the blackness melted away to reveal a little girl with blonde shaggy hair and a sweet smile. It was my inner child, under the guise of a demon. My neglected self from so long ago. And she transformed before my eyes from a lesson into a blessing.
What I have learned so far is this: If we never truly process our deeper feelings and allow them to be planted like seeds in the heart, our experiences become meaningless and void of life. The emotions of the human spirit are like a current guiding us toward freedom. I’ve learned that my emotions do not define me, they simply trigger and release the energy of my being like waves upon an ocean. I’ve realized that I am the ocean, deep as space itself and full of unsurmountable power, with so so so much to discover and bring back to the world like lost treasures from the seafloor.
Alas, I wanted to write this post as a means of putting my thoughts about what is going on within me together. Writing a novel is a most ostracizing process, as it must be to preserve the organic unfoldment of the story itself. And so, I keep it to myself as I go, writing the story of me that I wish to tell (and will share with the world soon). From my heart, a gift to those who try to conceal their brilliance...
It must be felt, to be illuminated.