I have not been fully honest & forthcoming. There’s a part of me that I need to introduce you to.
I am dedicating to not living ONE MORE DECADE without honoring the fullness of who I am. This past year has been one of the most difficult resulting from a myriad of upheavals & change. From my daughter being hospitalized with pneumonia, to the unexpected death of a beloved friend, to marital strife, to an intimate friend cutting me out of her life, to selling the edible oasis homestead I cultivated back from neglect, to an ingenious toddler whose daredevil impulses regularly bring me to my knees in tears, to the shedding of illusions that being in business brings up.
Alongside this stirred an uneasy whisper of discomfort that I was still speaking and acting in safe ways in order to maintain the identity I had projected for years. I took new action and spoke of big ideas and yet, I was still dancing around being too bold in my assertions in order to protect an illusion of safety. I know myself enough to know that I wanted to do more, but wasn’t doing it.
I called myself a life coach, because it was easier than trying to explain the calling that was still emerging and undefinable to me.
Today, I am stepping away the title of life coach and embracing a truer one: Inner Wisdom Keeper & spiritual teacher. I still feel massive hesitancy in sharing that I am a spiritual teacher, for many reasons:
- One, I have experienced social ostracism, criticism, & deep emotional pain from speaking my spiritual truth and being myself to others (more on this another day). I no longer want to minimize expressing who I am to protect me (in theory or reality) from the criticism & exclusion of others.
- Two, I am morally opposed to evangelical practices which promote a patriarchal, colonial treatment of others. I want to be clear that I’m sharing about my experience to let you relate to my journey and my experience, in the hopes that it might shed light on your life. At some point however, I can’t speak of spirituality without inevitably addressing hypocrisy and outdated provincial paradigms in some religious/spiritual practices, and frankly some people aren’t going to like that. I don’t want to initiate conflict unnecessarily, but I will not be silent on issues that matter.
- Third, I am still learning how to embody power, truth, and humility all together. Can I successfully share the epiphanies, revelations of truth, and downloads from Spirit, with conviction & compassion? I hope to be courageous enough to continue to share my spiritual growth publicly, knowing I will inevitably make mistakes. Eeek, the part of me that likes to make all my work perfect in every way before sharing is really uncomfortable with this. Still, I will commit to it. I’m a passionate, opinionated human being, so very likely I may offend or estrange loved ones. Can I be strong enough to take a stand and speak even when my voice shakes* to proclaim truths that I feel called to share?
- Fourth, By putting myself out there with a new title, I will not be able to control what others say about me or how they relate to me. Of course, in reality, I could never control that anyways, but the small, primal part of me that feared writing this liked when I was staying small, because then I flew under the radar of judgement, odd looks, and opinions. I aim to always be respectful of and aware of the abuse of power that has occurred in many spiritual traditions and to not abuse that power; but I can’t control how others will see me now that I have asserted this aspect of myself. They may doubt me and cast me in the same light as others who have abused spiritual gifts.
- Fifth, my spirituality does not fit easily in a descriptor or box. I am a mystic, a Christian, a Buddhist, and commune with nature. I connect with Spirit through my relationship with Mother Earth, but I don’t consider myself a pagan or member of earth religions. I do not concern myself if my way of connecting to the divine is correct, normal, or fits within anyone else’s definition of what it is to commune with spirit.
- As I wrap up this list, I see that what looked like 5 fears to me is largely ONE FEAR.
This is my dedication to free myself from this one fear- I commit to being the fullness of who I am, without letting the fear of other’s opinions, judgement of my intentions, or criticisms shut me down. I commit to shining brightly and taking up space.
I commit to keep showing up, through the tears, the misunderstandings, the things that will fall away, and the Ever-Expanding Unknown in front of me. I hope that my commitment will also inspire you or someone you know.
I share this side of myself that many don’t know today, trusting that one spark can kindle the spark of courage in your or someone you know. That the courage will grow to release old fears and step into a more full authentic expression of yourself.
I pray and dream that as we move into this next decade that you find the comfort, support, and courage to let your spark breathe and grow. If you are trapped by social masks, norms that don’t fit for you, or safe places offer some emotional protection, I ask that you begin imagining how you will let the fullness of yourself unfold in the upcoming weeks.
Reach out to me or reach out to others. Sit with your breath or sit at the edge of a lake, forest, or field. Begin exploring how you can be more fully yourself in all your divine richness.
Lots of love to you,
Rachel, Inner Wisdom Keeper
*A loving nod to Margaret Mead for giving me strength, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”