Growing Pains (or Spiritual Ascension)

It’s been a long week. And today is Thursday.

You know the type of week I’m talking about. Where you started off on a high peak, admiring the scenery, and then feeling the earth crumble beneath your feet, dropping you onto the tracks of a high-speed roller coaster ride. Swinging up, plummeting down, inverting in a loop, and then feeling like you’re still inside out when you land.

Some people call it a spiritual ascension. I call them growing pains.

I’m no stranger to these periods. I’ve experienced at least one or two a year for the past three years. The frequency of them has slowed down, but the pain is more substantial, and the growth more noticeable after the wreckage has been cleared. We, as entities, have many, many layers. Multiple physical layers, emotional layers, energetic layers. Wounds and traumas can be located in the first layer only, they can stretch a few layers deep, or some of them can be so far underneath that we will not discover them until we have already peeled away most of ourselves. That’s why this journey of healing can be frustrating – or easy. It depends on how deep it is, and how much work it’ll take to get there.

Note that the word ‘work’ does not imply that it is difficult, or in contrast, easy. It is work.

I’m not sure how many times I’ve been approached after classes and workshops and been asked, “I learned so much from you today. I had no idea about any of this stuff! But how do you…I don’t know, how do you do it? How do you heal?”

What a simply complex question.

Last Friday night, on my way home from work, my car’s engine overheated. It was the first moment that I felt truly stuck and restricted from moving about the way I wanted for a long time, and it was the catalyst for this particular growing period.

I’ve needed a new car for a long time. Bless the poor thing though, even through getting nearly every recall in the book and a transmission that slips and jerks whenever you downshift, it still got me from Point A to Point B consistently. This coolant line leak was the last straw, though. I knew it was time. It was already paid off, I have the title, and used cars are going for much more than usual in the current market. It was a no brainer.

I’ve been trying to manifest a new car for over a year, and I use the word ‘trying’ lightly. My life is generally appears as a jam-packed, ink scratched, sticky-note covered schedule. Yes, it’s mostly full of good things, but it would be even better if I committed to making time to practice my craft or do my own work. This feels like a mega HYPOCRITE alert in my brain, because most of my time is spent teaching others how to practice. I know what and how and where and why and with what tools. I just need to do the damn thing, you know?

In the span of about four days, I was told that my grandmother’s cousin owned a car dealership in Illinois and he had been helping out our family with cars, including my mother and my aunt, so I had family on the ‘inside’; when I called, he asked me what I wanted, and pressed me to be honest so he could find me something I would like; he went to a dealer auction to find something just for me, and it was the same color and had the same features of the car I dreamed of for a year; our financing got approved with no issues and a reasonable interest rate; and a $1,000.00 down payment in addition to my trade-in manifested itself out of nearly thin air.

What had taken me nearly a year of 0.25% trying happened in about 4 days with almost zero effort. The Universe saw that I needed a new car, and she put everything in motion for me. Part of me wondered if she thought, “There’s no time to waste. She has clients scheduled for energy work and she needs something better to get her there.”

The first thing I realized was, Holy shit. See what happened? And think about what could happen if you ACTUALLY TRIED and DID THE WORK?!

The second thing I realized didn’t feel as empowering. I had an anxious, icky feeling in my stomach. You would think I would be jumping for joy, right?

“You literally just got everything you asked for as easily and quickly as it could have happened. It’s awesome! Aren’t you excited?” my closest guide asked me.

“I am,” I replied, starting to sink down into my body. “But I’m also worried. I don’t know, money always makes me anxious.”

And there it was.

When I think back on it, I remember my guide audibly sighing, because he knew just as well as I did that I stumbled upon a wound. A wound that I knew was there, but chose to forget or downplay; a wound that is possibly a few layers deep; and one that I know for certain is a few generations continued.

The energy of money is held in the Solar Plexus, the chakra center just above the belly button. It’s our manifestation center and where we house our power, so this makes sense to me. Money is an energetic tool that we use to manifest what we want. The way we use it is entirely dependent on who we are, what our wounds are, and what was passed down to us. A lot of us feel a certain sense of shame around money (considering that I feel like I’m speaking to the other 99% right now) and if you’re one of those people, I want you to know that you aren’t the only one.

Shame around money can look different for different people. For me personally, it’s my debts. I ended up repeating a pattern that I saw when I was young but didn’t really understand until now. I dug myself a reasonably sized hole to the tune of about $6K on credit cards. I have about $25K in student loan debt, too. We could speak about the political and financial nature of these debts for days, but that doesn’t really interest me. My work is in the energetic nature of it. Why did I put myself here? What is the lingering mental program that keeps me in this energy stream of debt?

Maybe it’s because, through the critical environment I was raised in, I believed that I wasn’t good enough and nothing I did was ever going to be enough (leading to never having enough).

Maybe it’s because my expectations of myself are aligned with a societal expectation that I haven’t investigated enough to agree or disagree with (leading me to fall into the belief that you’re a good, responsible person if you don’t have debt and a bad, irresponsible, shameful person if you do)

Maybe it’s because I watched and embodied a pattern of trying to fill emotional wounds with objects that brought a fleeting dose of serotonin.

Or maybe it’s because I have a deep, gaping wound of shame that’s feeding all of the money related channels in my body that I need to address.

As you may have guessed, it’s (mostly) the latter, but the other ones play their parts, too. My guide and I came to this conclusion and he asked me, “So, I guess we have to start to pick through this thing. When have you felt really ashamed or embarrassed?”

It hit me like a brick. The realization that I haven’t dealt with or processed anything that happened to me while I was in Catholic school.

When you come upon these realizations, these light bulb moments, what do you do with them? You want to heal them. How? What does healing look like? We’re all so unique that different things will work for different people. For some, it’s therapy. For others, it’s healing through plant medicine. For some of my clients, it’s by doing energy work.

Let me tell you what I did with this wound.

After I became aware of the wound, I wanted to resolve it as fast as possible. It was causing me to quite literally hemorrhage money in my physical existence to keep feeding this wound, and I am ready for the freedom that more money can give me to do the work I do in this life.

So, I blocked out time. Yes, for real, I made myself pick a day and time to begin to unravel this. It was after one of my last energy sessions for the day, and I closed myself into my treatment room and prepared the space just as I would for a client coming in. I called all of my watchtowers (Freyja and Freyr in the East, Baldr and Sol in the South, Thor in the West, Odin and Frigga in the North, Mani in the Above, and Mother Jord in the Below) as well as Eir, the Norse goddess of medicine who I work with often. I felt many more out on the periphery, though, as if they had been tipped off that I was doing this work tonight.

I sat down on my treatment table in a straddle position, facing South, for the fire element and its correspondence to the Solar Plexus. My main guide took a seat across from me, and I began my work.

Picking up my crystal energy key, I slowly began to open up my Solar Plexus by turning it to the left. Generally, my Solar Plexus feels pretty good. I feel confident in myself, strong, and do things the way I want to do them. But that was just my top, healthy layer. I had to go deeper.

“Okay,” my guide started. “You need to go back to the Catholic school now. You have to go back and see what happened.”

I watched it all unfold again, just as it did 18 years ago, but from a third person’s perspective. I watched the little girl hold onto her tears with all she could so that she wouldn’t cry in front of her classmates. I watched the teacher yell and dump her desk over, sending everything onto the floor. I felt the heat of embarrassment and shame in her little face as she desperately tried to clean everything up, making herself as small as she could. I felt the pit in her stomach, the fear that her parents would be called and she would be in even more trouble.

What did she do wrong? She couldn’t find a worksheet. Her desk was a little messy. Her home life was a little messy. And she was 7 years old.

As I watched this memory with older eyes, my heart felt like it was breaking into a thousand pieces. In my visualization, or while I was in that realm of memory, I reached my arms out to grab her. I could feel it, somehow. I pulled her close. Now we weren’t in the school anymore. We were just sitting on this massage table together. I could feel her scratchy school uniform, her little body shaking in my arms as she cried. Tears slipped down my face, too.

“You’re okay,” I remember saying. “This all happened a long time ago. You don’t have to stay there anymore. It’s over. You aren’t a bad person because you’re a little messy. You aren’t a bad person because you lost something. [Our teacher] should have helped you. She should have just given you a new worksheet, or she should have let you, or even helped you, clean your desk during recess. She should have asked you if you were okay. But she didn’t. Instead she decided to embarrass and traumatize you in front of everyone else. And that wasn’t right. I know how hurt you feel. It’s okay. We’re older now, and we’re going to let that go. We don’t need to carry it anymore.”

Suddenly, she disappeared, and for a moment I felt lighter. Maybe it had worked, maybe I had released her from being trapped in that memory. But then I doubled over in pain, my stomach turning into knots. I could barely hear my guide trying to talk to me. I quickly opened a portal on the table, in between my legs, and just began to sob, letting it drain into the portal. I felt hands on my back and my shoulders, and I was pushed forward so that my stomach was closer to the portal. My guide at the other end held my hands as I shook and cried.

In between gasping for air, I could hear them. The gods, my ancestors, everyone. They were all telling me the same thing. We love you.

I don’t know why, but whenever I hear that, I always cry harder. For some reason, just getting the notion that someone else outside of me actually having the audacity to say those words and truly mean it sends me over the edge every time.

I started to have visions of my ancestors, feeling their feelings. The anxiety they had coming to the New World. Worrying about money, about debt. Do we have enough? Enough food? Enough to get us through the winter? Will we be able to come back from this setback? The tears wouldn’t stop coming. I can’t remember if I actually managed to speak it or just think it, but I remember trying to express to them, Thank you. Thank you for everything you did. Everything you went through. You survived, which is the whole reason I’m here. All of you made so many sacrifices that led to me being here, to do the work that I’m doing. I don’t know if you knew it then, you probably didn’t, but now that I’m here, we can all heal. I want to heal this now, for all of us, for everyone who comes after us. We don’t need this wound anymore, and I definitely don’t want it. If you help me to release it, we’re all released from it. We’ll be free.

I don’t know how many hands were on me, but it felt like a lot. Eventually I ran out of tears to shed. I felt empty, drained. But light. Something had moved. The muscles in my abdomen were sore. Things felt different. I closed the portal, and one by one I felt them leaving. Eventually it was just me and my guide left. I gathered up the twenty crumpled tissues, shut the lights off, and went home.

Did I release it all the way? Maybe. It’s too soon to tell. In my experience with energy work, there are always layers. So many layers. If that was one layer, then so be it. That is how I heal, or begin to heal. Get in it. Face it. Release and express all of the emotions you couldn’t then. Use the tools that you have available to you. Let yourself rest.

Tomorrow I’m picking up my new car, which the dealer also put brand new tires and brake pads on as a ‘family bonus.’ The more I open, the more I receive.

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