Magical madness

I’ve been reading ‘Big Magic’ by my latest spiritual woman crush, Elizabeth Gilbert. In it, she talks about genius and inspiration and how, once upon a time, long before the X-Factor, it was believed that the spirit of ‘genius’ would float around, wait for a willing victim & then infect the human carrier to secure its creative release into the World. That, in fact, the human involved was not the creative genius that we, in our current World, revere people to be. How does the ego feel about that then!?

She talks about surrendering to creative madness, to the ebb and flow, that inspiration will come when it wants to, and we, mere humans, need to be disciplined in our practice, and be ready to seize the spark of inspiration when it flashes past us. Pin it down, beg it to stay and work it through us.

She also talks about madness. About how many an artiste descends into a dark world of punishment, restriction and madness for the sake of their art and creative identity. She talks about how in her experience, this isn’t actually necessary or helpful to the creative process.

She talks about the importance of a positive attitude and not attaching results to your creative outlet. I took a long hard look at my attitude and this blog after reading that chapter. And again, after arriving back in India… Anyway, for those interested in becoming more creative in your life I suggest you read Big Magic. She explains it all much better than me!

I’m editing and writing this blog ten days in to life in Arambol. I am home in India again. And the energy I feel at being back in India is extraordinary. I know there is Big Magic here for me – some places are more energetically supportive. Compare Slough (sorry Slough) to the Cotswolds.

Reading ‘Big Magic’ made me realise I’ve never felt more mad! I resonate with being a channel for ‘spirit’ or ‘inspired genius’. My intuition is on point as I channel guidance in tarot readings (an enjoyable and very surprising development on my spiritual path. I mean, I did always hope I was a witch…) I frequently experience energetic experiences stood heart to heart with sisters, my hands tingle regularly with reiki, I cry with heart bursting emotion at the good, (not just the bad in my life), & my heart bursts when I sing and my smile hurts my face after sharing and teaching others to sing too. But the clearest sign of my madness is that I am back in India with less that £900 and no real clue on how to begin earning ‘serious’ money again. So yeah, I feel crazy! This is not what I ever envisaged I would do, or how my life would look at 35.

And there have been moments when I have been smacked by how fucking scared I am. On the flight over I began writing this blog because I felt the cold grip of fear seep over my heart. I was scared of running out of money, scared of having to ask family/friends for financial help (which I know I am fortunate to be able to do however much the thought makes me want to choke on my wounded pride). I was scared that I will have to go back to the UK when the money runs out, tail between my legs, and when I let the fear run to its deepest ebb, I was scared that there’s a risk that all these last few years were a flight of fancy, that I should be sensible and be, well, a lawyer again. And that mostly, I was scared of giving up on this life I have created, of balance for my mind, body and soul. Because Law wasn’t that. I was scared that I may have to put myself back in a socially suffocatingly acceptable box of ‘normal’, ‘sensible’ and ‘secure’.

I sat looking at a map of India on the flight and as well as being scared, I realised I was tired. This year has been intense. I’ve spent over 10 months of it in India, undertaking immersive spiritual trainings, and left pieces of my shattered heart and past beliefs all over this gloriously complicated contradictory Mother Land. And I could feel that my ‘worry’ to be sensible and earn money contradicts my need to rest, & integrate all I’ve learned in the most recent training in Thailand (Women’s Circle Teacher Training), never mind all that I’ve learned, experienced and lost in the last 14 months since I left the UK.

By writing this, and running my fear loop to its root, I see that the ‘scarcity programme’ still operates in my monkey mind – oh hello again, old friend (hissed through gritted teeth). It’s always the same wolf in sheep’s clothing, that old boring limiting belief still waits for me to walk into its trap and gleefully recite: “I am not good enough for the life and love I want!” Writing this has helped me breathe into the fear and find the source of its anguish – a fear that there is a lack, not abundance, of all I need and desire. That I’m scared the good won’t last because, well, that’s a downtrodden pattern that operated successfully and painfully for 32 years of my life. I guess it comes back to that old tale of my biological Father leaving when I was 3, and the ensuing saga of disappointment, and rejection, the struggle to find love in (all the wrong) relationships and the painful path of acceptance as a lawyer (I was bullied by male bosses during many phases of my career). Victim pattern secured. Repeated. Reaffirmed. But now it is seen. And it is boring and outdated.

Being honest with how I feel helps me to see that right now, & perhaps even for the next month, I don’t have to do anything unless I let my worry motivate me. And past experience shows me that worry certainly never helped a situation work itself out. I have also learned not to let my fears lead me to panic, not to kill myself in the process of chasing money, to keep the balance I have worked so hard to create with mornings to myself with yoga, meditation, singing, sunshine, good food, connection to Mother Earth (jungles, oceans, beaches, mountains) and living in a likeminded inspiring community which I find in abundance here in India.

Taking this time away from the ‘normal’ World of doing, producing, achieving, has revealed to me that I’m also a frustrated carrier of genius – I have ideas! Inspiration has always been around me in this Spiritual World but now my ideas feel a little more tangible, and I feel ready to serve in a bigger way. This is new. And this feels very different to last year and even last month!

I want to set up an online community – I want to offer videos, podcasts, meditations, Kīrtan, singing lessons, spiritual life coaching and women’s circles and annual retreats (see lots of ideas!). I want to serve again, and lead because that is what makes me feel alive with passion and connection. I want to advise (the lawyer lives on) but to guide you on your path into a deeper, wilder, softer connection with who you truly are. And I don’t want to keep offering away all my experiences for free. I deserve to live a life of abundance in fair value for all I share and do. I want to build up myself and my business so I can access more of you, and help myself more in sustaining this lifestyle that feeds me soulfully, so I can continue to share all of that in bigger, more impactful ways than just these blogs. But, I need money to do this, to pay for Zoom, to pay for more storage space on my clapped out iPhone to record videos, to earn more from tarot ideally I need to pay for adverts on FB and IG, and I can feel it’s almost time to rebrand and update my terrible but coral pink website! I need money to allow me the time to build, record and create content to share – a Liz library of spiritual lessons (again, not something I imagined I’d ever create!). And I need money to allow me the time to continue to invest in myself, because I can feel how rich, worthwhile and beautiful it’s been, and I don’t want to ever lose myself in ‘doing’ too much ever again.

I honour myself and the last three years in which I have experienced a spiritual life, for real, for better & for worse, and I know in my heart that my experiences are worth sharing, that they can help others find their way and moreover, that my experiences are worth being paid a fair price for. But at the moment, I am having to choose money for food and accommodation and not for business reinvestment. So the Universe appears to be making me wait, to be sure, or perhaps, to offer me something else that my pea brain hasn’t envisaged (like everything else that happened to me this last year!).

This time last year, I was very scared, very alone and very lost. I was scrabbling around for a clue desperately and about to hit one of many, many walls in Amma’s ashram (metaphorical walls here, although my spacial awareness is patchy at best). Amma is a spiritual being, the hugging mother, the embodiment of the Divine Mother, and it was the first time I truly prayed to Kāli, the fierce mother Goddess, to help me in my confusion.
This year, I am still scared at times, but I am no longer confused. I am frustrated and, if anything, I am now more scared to stop following this devotional spiritual path that brings me so much peace and joy.

Never have I felt more connected to who I am. It’s taken 35 years for me to shed the past uniforms of the ‘Liz’ I was for other people, for other purposes, than the spiritual traveller and spokeswoman I now realise I am. And I want to go deeper, explore more of who I am, and more of my healing capabilities that I sense are waiting to be revealed.

Never have I felt more connected to magic. To God. To community. To the power within me, to heal, to help others. To use the gift of my voice to connect to people through these humble written words of mine, through song as I merge into the supportive hum of my beloved harmonium, or through tarot readings- as I let my words of intuition tumble forth to help people take a look at their lives and perhaps see a new way forward. I love being of service in ALL of these ways equally.

Never have I felt more mad but more alive. More hopeful of a life of colour, adventure, love, spiritual family and friends because that is what I have been living. Never have I felt more sure that I am on the right path because some of you respond to my posts and tell me that my experiences are helping you traverse your own, near or far. That what I have been doing has value outside of my own spiritual discovery.

So whilst I have never felt more financially irresponsible, whilst I have never felt more financially blocked from moving forward to make the money I believe I need to make – I continue to surrender. To trust that I have got this far, on that flight, with more money than I need right now, to thrive, to connect and continue to see what India shows is within me. I have earning capacity. I am earning a little money from Tarot readings and I can get a job as a yoga teacher. I can swallow my pride and ask for help should I need to. I have to trust once more and be proactive and disciplined as my flip flops hit the sandy shores of Arambol. Because maybe this financial squeeze is the push I need into a new discovery.

In my last training, I promised myself not to give up despite my fear in this magical madness. And that’s the greatest realisation of all. That my faith IS greater than my fear even when my bank balance gives me a fright. That I can sit and squirm in this apparent madness and have faith in my abilities, but more importantly, have faith in the Universe because I know everything is unfolding as it should, and we ALL, regardless of the life we are leading, falsely perceive we are in control. I am not in control. I am free but I am also being tested. I am hopeful. I am trusting. And I am surrending yet again.
My teacher Sufiana explained that when you call on the Divine Mother to save your soul, she will come to your aid without hesitation. But she will come and take you down to the depths of all your fears and attachments and make you tear it all down. She will destroy every lie, misbelief and fiction of control, security and comfort that you have outside of her, and of yourself. And it is true. All of this year, I have been walking alone, facing test after test. Even the test of handling beauty, love and a kundalini awakening (it feels like an energetic spiritual orgasm). Kāli was called, and she has taken my comfortable life of income, savings, & material comforts and thrown it all to the dogs. My (mis)identity as a lawyer, and then as a yoga teacher & studio owner, was ripped from my hands. She showed me the exhilaration of a loving relationship but then sank it deep into the depths of the dark oceans of what will never be more. She has taken away everything from me I thought I desperately needed or wanted. And there’s the other thing with the Divine Mother, she also has a sick sense of humour. You see, I detested Arambol when I stayed here in November 2015. It was full of harassing Indian men, spiritual bypassers, drugs and drums. Way too many fucking drums. And guess what I’m now being called to face? Yep, overpriced Arambol in high season…. FFS.

You might question why I persist in the face of all of this, well, magical madness?

Well, the Divine Mother has destroyed all of this with the fire of her unconditional love. She’s built me up, stripped me down, repeatedly, in order to show me MORE, more of my truth – the depth of my resiliency and the gift of her love – that it is all that I truly need and can rely upon. She has shook me free of my own shackles, limits and dependencies, of unhealthy relationships, in order to wake me up to the truth of who I am. And as a result of her tough love, I can play more freely in the human experience of love, exuberance, and adventure because at the heart of it all, in my heart, is my love and devotion to Her above all. She’s the Mother waiting to hold everyone of us when we are sick, or when our heart is broken, when we’ve scuffed our knees or had a bad dream (of Arambol….) And that, as I write all of that, is worth more than the comfort of a salaried job, or a boyfriend not ready to commit to me wholeheartedly. And because I feel that, trust in that, I leap madly into this next chapter of India, of Shakti (the energy of the Divine Feminine) and further on into my spiritual path.

And, as I felt in my bones, upon standing and smiling back on Indian soil at Amritsar airport, big magic IS here. Through divine guidance and a particular Goddess (in physical human form), I have an apartment for £100 a month and the opportunity to teach here. Another Angel is willing to coach me through my business dreams without receiving payment now, but later when I’m making money. Such is her trust and belief in me. My first day in Arambol led me to beers, falafel and another soul sister, and inevitably drums…. And for Christmas, a friend and family members surprised me with money which will keep me fed on samosas for a good couple of weeks! How can I not believe I am supported? How can I not believe in magic? How can I not believe in Her love and support even if my ego and mind would like a little more tangible proof?!
I want to add that I’m not seeking sympathy for my ‘free’ life. Everything has its trade off and I choose this path. Maybe some of you wish you could, maybe some of you wish I wouldn’t! But I share, as I do, because there is no easy path, there is no trouble free way to exist, & to remind myself and you to give up the chase of a destination – a time when you will be happy, fixed or settled. No one really talks about the darkness, the shadows, the fears and anxieties that we all suffer from, from time to time, and my path of merging the spiritual into the practical has been difficult. So I write this to share my vulnerabilities, to be an honest, flawed human, and always with the hope of making you smile, in parts. My aim is to be authentic as I explore my life path, and not pretend it’s all shanti, smiles and shoulderstands. But I am grateful for all I have, and I know I am blessed.

Finally, for my last post of 2018, my hope is that by opening up to you about how I continue to navigate fear and worry, that I still step forwards, it will help open you up to the big magic of life when you believe in yourself more, and less in your own fears. That’s my wish for us all for 2019.

Namaste and Happy New Year.

Liz X

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