The (screaming) cat in the room
Magic. The only way to verbally capture the essence of life these days, it's just pure magic. Things are becoming so clear.
My most recent shift is realizing a deeply rooted life-long emotional misalignment: that i'm not loveable or valuable.
This is fundamentally untrue for all of us, but - somehow - it's imbedded in a lot of us from day one. Some might feel the world is untrustworthy and hostile, or that they have to scream and fight to get their way. It's just more ego stories - which are NEVER logical - and ultimately doesn't matter what it says. It just wants to be seen.
Now that I recognize this has been a predominant force shaping my life experience, I can begin the healing (acknowledgment) and release (feeling) of it.
This core belief within me has determined how I interpret things people say/do (or don't say/do) . For instance, since I was little, my feelings would get hurt easily. I would usually take things personally. I would feel devalued, because I would view peoples behavior as confirming my deeply held beliefs that I'm not loveable or valuable.
But that's just been my ego's interpretation of reality. It's not true, and has not been why they acted the way they acted. They had their own reasons based on their own ego stories.
I finally get it.
One of my most amazing relationships that has been teaching me this is with my girl cat Sunshine (her majestic self pictured above).
She's taught me about love in the most profound ways. We've been together for almost 10 years - by far the longest committed relationship I've ever had! Over the last few years she's become increasingly needy - to the point where I was feeling frustrated that I couldn't please her emotional needs despite my best efforts. One behavior is her incessant need to get behind me while I'm sitting down and meow like crazy. She'd claw up my back yelling at me. I'd try to pet her but, from behind me, she was tough to reach! And don't even think of picking her up. If I turned around to pet her, she'd go behind me again.
This has been her way of showing me that what's behind me needs to be realized, and my reaching back for superficial "pets" wouldn't cut it. What's behind us - metaphysically speaking - is our shadow side. Our "dark" heavy emotional areas that we try to shove down / ignore / gloss over. She's been trying to get me to REALLY look at what's back there. Acknowledge it. Not appease it with feel good, superficial "pet's". (Pictured above - while laying on my stomach reading, she actually sat on my back to school me lol.)
Additionally, her willingness to receive affection from others is VERY limited - whether you're feline or human. Our boy cat - Rufus - can groom her but only for a few seconds, then bam - he's whacked on the head. She's had a rigid list of criteria for affection:
Related to the not feeling loveable and valuable thing, this effects my being receptive (as Sunshine has so eloquently been demonstrating). Culturally we're conditioned to DO and GIVE constantly. But being still and receiving is a crucial part of being in balance. This is part of our feminine nature which - as we've seen - has been suppressed on a mostly-global scale (men and women need to embody both feminine and masculine energy to be whole). We're learning though - and no doubt the Sunshine's of the world are helping guide the way...head bops and screams along the way :)
We're constantly searching and doing and covering-up and escaping. That background buzz of discomfort is where the magic lies though! We're afraid of facing the pain. We think things keep "happening to us", when really they're happening FOR us. And that discomfort has gems to deliver - on the other side is the bliss that's our birthright! And is subsequently the only way to be free from the discomfort...we gotta go through it. Only when we're still and observing what's going on around us can we see where we have harshness in our mellow :)
Starting to slow down and observe our lives is priceless. Especially our relationships (whether they're covered in fur or not doesn't matter - they're the best mirrors actually!)
So observing these feelings as they come and observing the stories that accompany them is where the change happens. Feeling it - in the raw - will allow it to dissolve. Magic! That's all we gotta do. Depending on how deeply embedded it is in our psyche, it may take a few sessions of observing / releasing. I've done a few already and can't begin to describe the lightness I feel.
Living life free from baggage and burdens and defenses is where the juice is baby!
What's been screaming / meowing / barking at you?!?!?!
And the alchemy continues!
I spent my whole life always looking for something that made sense. When I formulated my opinion about animals in captivity, it felt so "right". For the first time in my life of searching, I recognized a deep knowing: other animals are valuable, deserving freedom and support to live for their own reasons.
I dove into animal advocacy immediately after college, ultimately landing the perfect job any animal advocate could dream of: outreach coordinator for my local animal rights organization (Florida Voices for Animals). I was already thinking about ways to help animals - around the clock - so to be PAID to get involved full-time was sheer bliss!
After a year of working for this organization, researching all the different issues and ways to help, I was surprised to still feel the inner urge to explore something bigger. I had engaged in every form of legal advocacy: demo's, lobbying, tabling and leafleting, media outreach, ballot initiatives, delivering presentations - all of it. Though getting the word out about animals needing help felt right, none of these modalities felt like my niche - an emptiness lingered. I was devastated...back to square 1.
Right around this time, our worlds economic climate was at it's worst in my lifetime, so naturally FVA's employee fund dried up. It had been upwards of 8 years since I discovered my "path" as a voice for animals...what the hell do I do now? Going from fierce determination to a big fat question mark was scary, depressing and irritating. I began drawing unemployment and pumping out resumes left and right.
But so were 10% of all other Floridians at that time. My impressive resume lay under an impressive pile of impressive resumes.
I detached from all things "animal rights" (as far as activism was concerned), and figured I just needed to regroup. Clear the slate. I sought the guidance of a friend and former employer for her life coaching and intuitive services, Maria Bott. Her insights were priceless, all the way down to asking me who I am versus what I do. A question I highly recommend everyone ask themselves. My inability to answer it - on its face - was enough to quantify pursuing a deeper truth. Pivotal question!
I went on a trip a few months into my unemployment and wound up in the most depressed state I had ever been in, and for the first time I couldn't "snap out of it". Freaked me out! Normally the depression / awkward feelings would go away pretty soon, or I could go have a few cocktails and drown them. Not this time. It got funkier with each attempt to shake it.
Shortly after coming home from this trip, I came across Eckhart Tolle's "A New Earth: Awakening To Your Life's Purpose". SHAZAAM! After reading just a few pages, my woes melted away. Immediately upon learning about the human ego and our accumulation of emotional baggage (ie pain body), my dark heavy cloud lifted...someone let the air in the room! Brilliant. Fabulous. BLISSED to say the least. I couldn't peel myself from this book or his interviews online. THIS MADE SENSE! EUREKA! You know how I love stuff that makes sense. On the daily I was practicing being fully present, detaching from my ego, observing my emotions and thoughts - a full time job, this was! Twas the beginning of the beginning....
After a couple months of relentless failed attempts at applying for work, and not even having interviews, I reached out to a restaurant I worked at out of college. My gut burned at the thought of going back, but I felt pressure (from both inside and outside of my head) to do "something" rather than drain government resources. When I emailed my friends to say I was probably going back to waiting tables, Maria replied first thing saying "Ok, well, if you need a break....go for it."
Need a break?? From being unemployed??? A part of me perked up (my higher self) and a part of me shut up (my ego). It was just my ego who was drill-sergeanting me into doing "something" rather than drain government resources. My higher self knew my time was best spent healing from within, detaching from my identity as an "animal activist", so I could allow a more authentic self to emerge. My ego was scared and imposed a guilt-trip on me. We all know this leads to wise choices. (Not).
Maria affirmed what I intuitively knew (per my gut burn) that going back to the restaurant was a bad move. So I didn't, and stayed on unemployment into the new year, only applying for jobs that "felt" right.
Thanks to Maria and Tolle's guidance, my life began to flow with greater ease. My ego was losing control as my view of life expanded beyond fear-based limits. In February of the following year, I received a job offer from Vegan Outreach to finish up leafleting the campuses in southern California for the spring semester. In those 2 months, if it was a good fit, I could keep the job and move out there. And it was. So I did.
It was the best fitting shoe for the better part of 3 years. I grew beyond measure during my leafleting career. I owe so much of my evolution to the opportunities and encounters it provided, not to mention the overarching impact of connecting with hundreds of thousands of people about compassion.
What's significant here? Two things:
This was my first real step outside of the box. Beginning a relationship with my intuitive guidance and deeper "knowing". It's scary and uncertain at first, but the "knowing" gets clearer and stronger with time and practice. I've not mastered this skill yet but am being offered NUMEROUS chances to practice. It does improve :)
This is greatest truth i've ever learned: our intuition is HELLA smarter than our ego-logic-brain. The ego-logic-brain misinterprets events/people/things more times than not, our intuition does NOT.
So many of us are having our realities and comfort zones rattled these days. NOW is the time to ditch the fear based ego ideas and follow our intuition. The more we clean up our inner space and get still, the clearer our intuitive guidance becomes. **Ditch the fear!** - - most importantly. Fear based choices land us in a heap. We can all name at least 3 stories where this was true for us. Please feel encouraged to share a time when your intuition lead you down a great path, despite fear or pressure to conform! Share it here and with others! We need all the inspiration to grow that we can get.
For the love of love,
An east coast native, Nikki spent her college years and beyond as an activist for animals, the environment and social justice issues. Needing to make sense of and come to peace with everything along the way, she began her work on the spiritual level. When she realized that the conditions of our outer world are just reflecting the conditions of humanities inner world, her focus shifted to energy healing arts and yoga. Now a Reiki Master, yoga instructor, author and speaker living in Miami, Florida she hosts discussions and teaches on the importance of living a heart-led life, inspiring steps for self-love and personal mastery: the recipe for global peace.
Services offered listed under HEALING SERVICES tab.