dark. formerly titled: the mysteries of myanmar

Aug 10, 2017 | 0 comments

Dark. That’s what it’s been for the last 3 months. Dark. You wonder why I haven’t written? I didn’t have words. Writer’s block is a serious and scary thing! The thing that was scarier was that there was just darkness, the absence of light…and absolutely no words; no good ones at least. I wondered if the words would ever flow again like they did before. Where was my light? Did I lose it? Did someone take it? Did I extinguish it and was it ever coming back? I’ve been told my light still shines through my darkness and that I may not see it but others could. That is a very hard thing to believe when you are having trouble believing anything.

I knew I was ready. I knew I was well equipped. What I didn’t know, however, was that this meant the journey would bring great challenges from the very start. Travel like this isn’t all rainbows and unicorns, although I have had a few of those sprinkled in along the way thanks to a certain couple of soul sisters…you know who you are. Travel of this nature is hard, scary, daunting, unpredictable and one of the most beautiful experiences of my life. This journey isn’t a test, it’s my life. MY LIFE. I kept forgetting that and I kept thinking things will go back to normal when I return to my NORMAL life. Ugh, yeah…this is my normal life! I’ve been sick, physically, but a lot of it had to do with emotional, mental and spiritual matters as much as the physical. If you let them, they all play off of one another, egging the other on, adding insult to injury, just as they would support one another on the positive side. I won’t bore you with the “sick” details, we all know I got a parasite…I am in Southeast Asia after all and you have to eat the street food, it’s a rule. But it went way beyond that and it started even before the street food.

Myanmar was a place full of mysteries in so many ways. Before I went there I said to myself and others “I have this feeling I’m going to experience something really strong and spiritual during my month there.” It turns out I did experience this, however, it was something completely different than I had expected (true to form, lol). Like any sort of growth, change and learning don’t come without its challenges. I continue to think that it is going to get easier the more I’m tested, the more I experience and the more I grow because now I have more tools, understanding and I’m more capable so it shouldn’t be as hard, right? However, the challenges just keep getting more challenging and I may not have all the tools every time to face them. That’s why the challenges present themselves to help me obtain the tools that I am lacking which in turn enables me to face the next challenge. In Myanmar I got sick physically and I thought it was just the food, the hygiene, or something else, anything else to blame. Little did I realize it was something I needed to go through, a challenge I needed to understand and crawl my way out of on my own. Interestingly enough, it wasn’t until the moment that I took accountability for what was happening to me that the Energy shifted. I stopped blaming anything else and realized I was causing my suffering and I was the only one that could change this; there was no magic pill. I also realized that I needed to be on the other side of all of this to write about it which made me really frustrated, sad and stressed out that I hadn’t written a blog post in a long time. The more I worried about it the more stressed I got and the less I was able to open up to myself. It has been postulated that God doesn’t give us more than we can handle. When we ask for something, God provides us with the means to make that possible. However, it isn’t always in the form in which you expect or want but it is in the way that you need. I knew the situation was for my greatest good and to bring me to the place I have asked for but I kept thinking “what is it that I asked for that is why I’ve been given this?

I began to notice when I feel disconnected I get annoyed with people and situations so easily. Something that used to happen all the time but I didn’t know why. Traveling solo affords me the luxury of being able to genuinely look at myself with no masks on and nowhere to hide. It is really hard to avoid your stuff when it is just you and this great big world. So I acknowledged it: I was annoyed with people. Annoyed they didn’t speak English well and couldn’t point me in the right direction. A quality I had previously found charming because most of Southeast Asia is too touristy and overdeveloped. It was too hot. I didn’t know what to eat. I realized I felt all this frustration because I was forcing things and trying to control by rigidly planning my meals and my days. This was all due to the fact that I felt sick and I was completely living in my Ego. This took me away from my center and from Source and I was ignoring my intuition, letting my Ego and my mind make all the decisions. As a result, I felt dissatisfied with a lot. I just wanted control and some sense of comfort. Sometimes it is exhausting and scary trusting my intuition. All of the “what ifs” come to the surface and I get scared and just decide to let my Ego take control to calm the fear and as a result, I am usually dissatisfied after. Letting go, going within and listening to myself is KEY. If I don’t hear the answers it is because I am not allowing, listening or I am still thinking my Ego mind knows best. I felt so disconnected one morning as I sat down and ate my breakfast. Afterward, I took a moment to stop and all I could hear were the songs of birds and see lush green forest around me. Yes, my room was dirty and it scared me, but when I am connected I am able to find comfort in my discomfort. To reconnect all I needed to do was to stop and look at my surroundings because I know Mother Nature will always provide. I realize that when I am struggling I look at other people and judge them when they’re struggling. It’s almost like I hope they struggle too so I’m not the only one. When I am doing well, excelling and in my center, I hope people do the same and I try to help them. I don’t judge, I don’t stare and I think no rude things about them. Where my practice lies is when I am struggling to still be able to encourage others and still hope for their best even though I am at my worst. Have you ever considered when someone is annoying you that it is you that is NOT doing something rather than them that IS doing something?

“Who are you when you’re broke, when you’re tired, when you’re in pain, when you are alone? How are you treating others? Are you standing tall? Are you doing the hard things that need to be done, but still retaining your kindness and compassion? Are you learning, growing, loving? Those are the only questions that matter.” ~Karen Lee Moon

The key I have found is to find comfort in the discomfort. I tend to attach negative energy to being uncomfortable and the problem is I can’t just avoid discomfort, it is an inevitable feeling. What I can do is transform it into a positive feeling and embrace the discomfort, knowing that it is going to bring me something amazing once I am through it. I also remind myself that I will get through this and I will get better because I always have.

The first step I took was to take notice of my behavior. Before, I would run through old programming without any notice, like a machine. Now, as I begin to learn about my behavior patterns, I start to take notice of them. Sometimes I would repeat the same things over and over and I didn’t know why nor how to stop them. Then, I learned when I notice myself running through these old behaviors I can stop them. The first question I ask is why. Why am I repeating this old pattern? I sit quietly and began to discover the reasons why and listen for the ways to change them. Once I change my behaviors, the old patterns drop off. The first step to making a change is to notice and then acknowledge. Then you can begin the process of changing it.

The moment I took accountability for my recent life choices, and as a result, digestive problems, the Energy shifted. I let go of resistance and expectations. I had been wanting and expecting someone else to fix me. I was so uncomfortable that I was desperate for a quick answer, a magic pill that would relieve everything in a moment. As a result of my desperation, I looked to anyone and everyone else but myself for answers and help and I began doing things to myself that I would never have done had I been living from my center. I was living outside of myself and from a place of lack. When I decided to take charge and take control, it all changed. I was shown the way, given the means, I began listening to the right people and I was provided with the tools to assist me. Rather, they were there the whole time but now I was able to see them. For me, choosing to eat healthy and be well is just that, a choice. For that matter, we can choose to do anything as we always have a choice. I chose to not pay attention to what I was eating, I chose to ignore my body’s signs and I chose to ignore what was happening. In turn, I blamed others and expected someone else to fix me because I did not want to take accountability. I am not forced to do anything. I simply needed to stop living from a place of lack, stop wanting things out of fear and to regain my power and be thankful for the darkness, for it is my greatest teacher. The darkness teaches me to cultivate and bring my own light to the areas of my life that are dark. The presence of darkness is “not [me] being rejected but redirected” (thanks Alyssa!). I have once again risen out of the darkness, taking what I needed to thrive so now I can use that to share and spread the seeds of my light to others.

The darkness is my great and worthy opponent. So in this last case, it was the darkness that brought me down and the darkness that I must love and bring light to. It is there to “test my valor, my persistence and my ability to make decisions. It forces me to fight for my dreams.” “It is the experience of battle that strengthens the Warrior.” -“Warrior of the Light”, Paulo Coelho

After all of this, I feel like I have been reborn yet again, in another way. I feel powerful in my center and I have begun to develop new levels of intimacy with my inner self. God and the Universe are always guiding us to follow our true path. Have you ever felt or been shown signs that maybe you should be going in a different direction in your life? Pay attention! We all have free will so we can choose not to follow our true path and choose to follow a path our Ego deems suitable. But God and the Universe will not stop showing us signs and trying to nudge us in our true direction. So we can ignore the signs or acknowledge them. As soon as we acknowledge them the work begins. I asked myself as I was going through this “what did I ask for that is causing me to go through this?” I remember asking for healing, to experience the ancient healing modalities of Southeast Asia and to have this place help to heal me. I never expected this but often we don’t get the picture we envisioned when we placed our intention and made the request. So perhaps it’s time to think, is there somewhere in your life where things aren’t showing up how you expected and maybe you are ignoring them because they aren’t the perfect picture you had envisioned? Is this somewhere you can start to look to acknowledge something God and the Universe are trying to show you? If there is fear, that’s ok, act in spite of it. If there is uncertainty, that’s ok, trust yourself. If there is Ego, that’s ok, release it. Let go of those things that no longer serve you and remember to respect them and thank them for showing up in your life. If it weren’t for these things you wouldn’t be able to see what they needed to show you. But you don’t need them anymore…so make the choice to let them go.

“I was facing zero. When I started trusting myself again, I finally made the turn to face 100%. That was the moment. That was all it took.” ~me

Until we meet again,

Nikki

Mandalay train station and the ride to Pyin oo Lwin

The historic Gokteik Viaduct and the train ride to Hsipaw

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