Last week was intense. I haven’t felt pulled off track like that in a long time. My partner of eight years moved out on Sunday. And the pandemic intensified tenfold.
An Unfortunate Rendezvous with Old Habits
My regular spiritual and self-care practices started to slip the week before. The difficulties of ending a longterm partnership had me reaching for some liquid relaxation again; something I had stopped doing for several months.
As I took in the possibility of spending weeks alone at home (aside from going to work), I stocked up on all the essentials including a large case of beer. I got all the goods tucked away nicely and neatly in their respective homes in my kitchen, including the beer. Then the my soul spoke…
“Paula, what are you doing? You stopped drinking to be present and available for your spiritual practices and work. And you’ve greatly enjoyed all the benefits of not drinking. Now you’re a daily drinker again when your relationship ends and a pandemic hits? Let’s think about this. Does this decision feel good?”
It was a gut-wrenching truth. My soul had me thinking twice. I spent the entire day thinking about how it would be nice to just have one beer. Just one. I fought with myself. I told myself no. Then the end of the day came.
I walked to the fridge as I browsed my email. I opened an email from Lee Harris. Ah! A new podcast with a woman who wants to share all about the sober life. My jaw-dropped. Then I opened the fridge and grabbed a beer anyway.
That first sip was great. Bubbly goodness. But the night wore on. I didn’t like how I felt. And I began to realize that I couldn’t do my Akashic Records work the next day since I decided to drink. Alcohol impairs my ability to read the field so my teacher recommends waiting 24 hours after consuming to do readings. Dang.
As I crawled into bed that night, I realized it just wasn’t worth it. I’ve spent the last several months reducing my alcohol intake. I used to drink regularly; one or two beers a night for several years. I saw no issue with it. But this year things changed.
I realized I didn’t like how I felt when I constantly consumed alcohol. It really kept me from being in touch with my soul and the energetic realms. It often left me hazy the next morning. I didn’t feel as motivated. And it left me feeling disconnected from my feelings and the direct experience of my life.
So last year I started to slowly reduce my intake. I drank about once a week. And then at the end of the year, I pretty much stopped altogether. I drank only about once a month if even that. But that changed.
In the fires of transformation, my vulnerable self gave in to old habits to try to find a way to make myself feel better. I see more clearly than ever how the use of alcohol and TV keeps people from truly facing the reality of their lives.
If I drank a beer and just relaxed, I could forget about all the difficulties I was experiencing. So I let myself do that. But then I didn’t want to stop. That’s when I realized that drinking had turned from a one-night enjoyment into a tactic to numb myself from my problems.
It’s a subtle and slippery slope. Fortunately, I caught it early. I am so grateful I did this for myself. It occurred to me the morning after that last beer while I was out walking Rupert, my corgi, that I didn’t want to drink. I didn’t want to drink because I wanted to be completely present for what was happening in my life.
The transformation that’s occurring through the ending of my relationship is way too important to me. I care too much about this ending to numb myself to it. This ending deserves my complete and utter respect. I show that respect by being present and available through all the ups and downs. That means no drinking.
Fear rose up within me. I knew instantly that if I chose to numb myself to all that was occurring I’d be missing out on important lessons and energetic clearings that require my attention. I would inadvertently create more karma for myself rather than aid in its clearing if I kept drinking. That’s when I knew that drinking every day was no longer an option for me.
The Intense Distraction of the Pandemic
I see more clearly now at the other end of what has been an insanely intense week. I see that what’s needed now more than ever is my complete presence and my dedication and attentiveness to all my practices. It’s not just for myself during my own personal transformation but it’s also for the whole world during this pandemic.
It’s easy in today’s world to get distracted. People are scared and alone. And all the systems and patterns are undergoing an insane overhaul. The energy in the collective right now is extremely erratic and wobbly. If you don’t take conscious control of where you place your focus, then the collective will do it for you. And you might not enjoy the outcome.
As I sat on my sofa yesterday afternoon, I realized how important it was for me to buckle down in my spiritual practices and to engage with others who are choosing to do the same. I reached out to my soul sisters and told them about my plans. I then got off the couch and took action.
I started with what felt most right. I picked up a stick of palo santo, lit it, and slowly walked around my apartment. I continued to light the palo santo and walk as I drew my attention inward, gathered my presence, and opened to the moment. I felt the sacredness of life fill my chest and my steps. I felt the collective energy push out and away as I created a field of calm and peace. My entire body relaxed. The whole apartment filled with palo santo’s sweet fragrance. But it didn’t end there.
The ceremony had only just begun. I felt my soul taking the lead. She knew exactly what was needed: a slow, hot, nurturing bath. I lit candles, gathered the perfect selection of essential oils, and played one of my new favorite albums. I gave this to myself. I meditated on my senses: the smells, the heat, the music, and the light. I took slow deep breaths. I touched each limb of my body and gave great love and gratitude.
In these moments, I took charge of my focus and attention. Where the forces at play in the world at large would rather we endlessly obsess about the ongoing pandemic, it is radical to reclaim your attention and focus on that which you’d like most to expand.
It is easy in these moments when the pressure is hardest, when feelings are difficult, when fears are grand, to give in and give up. But it’s a true spiritual practice to continue to consciously choose for yourself.
No, I will not give in to old behaviors.
No, I will not allow myself to be incessantly consumed with the fear and anxiety of the pandemic.
No, I will not allow my sovereignty to be compromised in times of difficulty and challenge.
Instead, I see here a great opportunity for me to hold stronger to my personal sovereignty, to stand taller for the new way of being I desire to see in the world, and to speak louder about the higher vision for all of humanity.
Now is the time to claim what we most desire to experience in our own lives and to be an advocate for that. Do not let yourself be overcome and carried away. Or even if you do, trust that you will notice. Notice yourself being carried away in the thick of it but then stop, draw your energy inward, reclaim your power, and make a new choice.
Yes, we need to be aware of what’s going on. Yes, we need to help where we can. Yes, we need to do what we must to protect ourselves and others. Yes, an immense amount of compassion is called for. Yes, how you feel is okay.
We can remain sovereign beings who choose to anchor higher levels of light amidst the chaos by choosing to consciously guide and direct our attention and focus.
Choose today to take a break from everything. Forget it all for a moment and listen to the birds. Forget it all and lay on your couch and listen to one entire album of music. Forget it all and go make love in the woods. Drop in to that space in the middle of your chest that pulses with love. Melt into that.