Kill the Script, Write YOUR Story.

Kill the Script, Write YOUR Story.
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Denise Linn’s Native Spirit Oracle deck

I advise you to stop sharing your dreams with people who try to hold you back, even if they’re your parents. Because, if you’re the kind of person who senses there’s something out there for you beyond whatever it is you’re expected to do – if you want to be EXTRA-ordinary- you will not get there by hanging around a bunch of people who tell you you’re not extraordinary. Instead, you will probably become as ordinary as they expect you to be.” – Kelly Cutrone 

My entire life has been a journey to silence the noise and listen to my heart. I grew up in the south of the U.S. and I never quite fit in. Very early on, there was always a script it seemed one was to follow—college, job, marry, kids—and, there ya have it.

I wanted to tell my own story, not the script of my peers, nor the script that my family wanted for me—my own. I grew up in a privileged, cookie cutter community. My mother actually worked, unlike many of the PTA cheer moms, because lo and behold, I came from a divorced family. Not only did she have a job, but it was the source of survival. Like many heroic mothers, her sacrifices were for education, amongst the other usuals.

Oh, and we didn’t go to church.

Now, as a young girl, I felt tremendous pressure to meet the mold. I had our family become members of a church (non-denominational, but still). I would drag us to church because I felt so inadequate when my friends would share that their seemingly perfect families—both mom and dad included—would religiously go every Sundee. There was also the time I delusionally (and quite insanely) fantasized over this immaculate house that I wished was ours, as if my poor mother that already struggled enough to keep the lights on could ever dare dream to afford. Did I mention I was in elementary school? Needless to say, I was constantly concerned about creating in comparison to what everyone else had.

It wasn’t until I reached high school that I began to steer away from the projections of my community and start to realize I could give a shit less about any of it. The destined rebel heart began to pop at the seams and set itself on big city lights as an escape route. However, the path to get there would never be in silence. When I finally made it to California, still so many back home had something to say about the way I chose to live my life. Interestingly, when I left California to travel the world, I experienced the same. Even amongst my California folks, I often receive similar blank stares and mumbles in response to me expressing adoration for my life here in México.

Fortunately, traveling the world taught me a lot about ignorance, a lot about figurative noise, and a lot more humility about just living life and learning to find peace from within.

Wounds from the past I still contend with from time to time, claro. But, my life changed when I decided to say, PEACE OUT to the script that was outside of my control, to start writing my new story. And, to live a life that I declared as meaningful, with nothing to prove to anyone else.

Today’s Wild Card pick is in alignment with the Full Moon Eclipse in Leo. It is from the Native Spirit Oracle deck:

STORYTELLER

This card asks you to be the hero of your journey. You get to decide the interpretation of your story. If the old script does not serve, write the new one. Don’t let others tell you how it is to be told or what it means for you. Validate yourself by following your heart.

Are you living someone else’s script? Is your script filled with the voices of what everyone wants from you?

It takes a lot of courage to strike out and live your truth.

The light of the full moon never fails to reveal. In the sign of Leo, it’s the perfect landscape to be the star of your own show.

Go dazzle.

  

Happy Full Moon!

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A Perch, Not a Cage

A Perch, Not a Cage
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Saying Goodbye to California, Venice Pier, October 2016

As my presumably fabulous L.A. life was crumbling around me, my ego & spirit went head to heart. The reeking suspicion was setting in that the greatest love affair I’d come to know, my marriage to the City of Angels, was nearing its end. Like any great love there’s simply no way to predict the story’s evolution. And, like many great narratives, what seemed to be a grueling devastation was actually an ignition of rebirth. California was a hell of a ride, but one that was starting to feel like the gas tank was teetering on empty. I trekked there at twenty years old from sweet home Alabama with so much pride, I was sure I’d never run out of fuel. As my resistance began to subside, the idea of an adventure was taking reign. Suffice it to say, there was no cushion lying around, but I was slowly readying myself to toss over the keys.

Where is my life headed? Who am I without this identity? It was a bleak road with no glimmering light in sight, aside from my one compelling instinct to flee for southeast Asia. How am I going to manage that? As I watched my home, Venice Beach, turn over & succumb to the gentrification that was part of a greater change within the city, I watched my wallet fall prey to these changes as well. I could no longer upkeep with the ever demanding market, unless I wanted to live to work, and that I did not. The burning smell of Balinese incense kept lurking over my way.

Travel goals actually became a great crutch during my California demise, an easy talking point of reasoning to others. Naturally, as change was setting in, these “others” were in sheer opposition. “If you leave, that’s it.” Of course there were lurking fears. Have I failed? Am I going backward? But, really such a declaration rings as music to my rebellious ears. I typically reject being bound to anything. As an astrology mentor once acutely proclaimed, “You’re a bird with a perch, not a cage.”

True that.

After all, I felt like I was drowning in a sea of expectations. I was sinking in the vast, vapid pool of proving one’s self. The identity that once was a glowing torch of inspiration & purpose had become a shackle. If I was going to “prove” anything, it was that I didn’t have to stay to prove anything. But, my intention was not to prove. My intention was to let go. I wasn’t sure how I was going to get to Bali, but about six months later on my thirtieth birthday, I stepped onto that plane and over to the other side of the world. Suffice it to say, it was a hell of a flight.

It’s Not Goodbye, It’s Hello.  

It’s Not Goodbye, It’s Hello.  

A few months ago when my brother Patrick died, somewhere in the midst of the funeral haze, I drifted off by myself to collapse on a bed and sob. My eyelids lifted to watch my consoling cousin pull back the tear-drenched hair off of my face. I recall my faint, yet bitter voice emphatically saying to her, “You know, I could be standing in the most exotic, stunning place in the world right now and I’d see no beauty. I’d feel nothing.”

I meant that. Much of the declaration was because world travel has become an invigorating passion of mine. But, sadly, it’s because this is not my first rodeo of tragic death. I lost my oldest brother Aaron when I was a teenager. After a decade of soul-searching and finally feeling at a pinnacle, losing both of my brothers has been a bizarre actuality to wrap my head around.

To say this year was one of the most formative years of my life would be an understatement. Then again, it has been so transitional that I am not sure taking form is even the right description. As per usual with the ever-flowing tide of life, it has been accompanied by soaring highs, followed by one of the greatest lows. It was a year in which I left behind my California identity of the last decade to embark on a new story. I confronted changes occurring within me while adapting to those outside of me. It was a year where I went to the other side of the world to feel back in the world. An excursion to the magical island of Bah-lee completely changed and redirected my life. I had never felt more alive than traveling solo in such a foreign land, and I had never felt more dead shortly thereafter.

As days have gone by, each one feeling as though there’s a little more life inside of me, I reminisce back to what I said to my cousin that day. I recognize it as a reflection of my internal experience at that moment in time. My apathy towards the aesthetics of the external solely mirrored that I felt dead inside. My reality was a belief I created based off of the numb feeling that nothing could make me feel alive again. Of course with good ole time, this experience has shifted. Since the loss of Patrick, I’ve returned once again from traveling. My thoughts have centered around a prevalent theme that emerged — an embrace of transitions.

In retrospect, there are so many chapters in my life that were remarkable periods of transition. Yet, if each changing moment is one transition to the next, then isn’t everything a transition? Reminded by all chapters left to the past, one final page after another, it got me thinking about my perception of goodbye. As someone who has long struggled with goodbyes, I’ve come to discover why traveling has been healing for me. The temporal experiences that unfold, only to fade, have been a powerful teacher. It fascinates me, really, the incredible forces at work when I step into the unknown to allow the divine to intervene. In my experience it has been one of the greatest agents of change, accelerating rapid growth and bringing forth much clarity. The big picture, so to speak, becomes a lot clearer.

One of my favorite parts of traveling is always the people I meet and connect to along the way. It’s interesting, being the person that’s never liked goodbyes. There’s an inherent understanding when traveling that while I may meet others on the journey, there’s no guarantee for anything further. In fact, there’s more the likeliness we won’t see each other again than there is otherwise. The respect of the present moment and allowing it to be is the lesson. It is recognition of a willingness to embrace the new moment and the ability to gracefully let go of the last. The beautiful temporal qualities of life teach us that there’s no way to foresee that which is to stay or go. It’s a hard thing to master, letting go, especially when shocked or traumatized. The go-to of fight-or-flight is to clench with all one’s power. Yet, we fail to realize the giveaway of power when struggling to make something stay that is to end. Things forever continue to strip away in life. The more I’ve grown and the more goodbyes I’ve had to say — I’m learning to consider a new perspective. I’m learning that maybe it’s not goodbye, it’s hello.

It’s been a year of many goodbyes and many hellos. As my various grief becomes interwoven, all I can do is stand in it. Feel it. Face it. Loosen my grip, and let go.

Endings are hard, but as it is often practiced in yoga — the transition between each pose can be the most enlightening of all. It is the power in awareness of each transition. How do I respond to the changing moment? Am I present? Is my ego holding onto something that happened in the last that no longer serves me? Am I moving forward into the next with total embrace of the new? Can I trust that what is gone is as it should be? Can I be content with the plan that is out of my control? Can I trust myself to be okay? Can I have compassion for my grief along the way?

So, life is one transition after another. It is a transition from one moment into the next, a city or career to the next, a profound love, or from one dimension into the next.

It is challenging to accept both of my brothers’ fate and their transitions from birth to death in this lifetime. Still, I ponder my own transitions of grief and have learned something. In one moment I thought I could see no beauty in the world, that I was dead inside. A few months later I was on a gorgeous beach in Mexico, and I was feeling things; I was feeling a lot. As the lucid, turquoise water slipped between my ankles, and the warm wind danced on my skin, there I stood in my grief. And, even as much ache as I may still feel in my heart, I was able to look around and feel some peace that day. I could acknowledge gratitude for the new because I could see my progression. So, I was able to accept goodbye a tiny bit more, and this time I could say, hello.

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Tulum, Quintana Roo, México

#Grief&Glory