The Gravity of Knowing: A Home I’ve Never Been To

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“The only way to know what the next right thing is, is to get very still, block out all the voices from the world and go inside yourself. There is a knowing that rises inside of us when we get quiet enough. Some call it God, others call it intuition or wisdom. It doesn’t matter what you call it—it only matters that you know how to tap into it. To me, it feels more like gravity settling in than words I can hear. This is the new revolution for women: To stop explaining our damn selves. Just do the next right thing, one thing at a time. That’ll take us all the way home.”

– Glennon Doyle Melton

It came to me in a whisper, unrecognisable because my voice usually speaks to me in panic. It’s usually loud and difficult to tune out. It’s not the nicest voice but it likes to tell me its rational and I’m not. So this was different for me. It was simultaneously soothing and terrifying.

A coworker and good friend of mine was telling me about her new potential job in Toronto. She’s been in the same little rut I’ve been in and this new opportunity presented itself in such a quick manner that she’s picking up her things and moving there next week. I think I may have picked up something that was in her when she spoke. She was vibrant and excited and scared and I was so excited for her. And then it happened. I heard myself telling her I planned to move to Vancouver in September when my sublet lease was done.

Vancouver was always in the back of my head. Being alongside beautiful nature, a province that is striving to be the most environmentally friendly and sustainable in the world by 2020. The healthy lifestyle. Being able to experience the life of a city and also secluding myself towards nature when I need a retreat. Everything has always drawn me there, but I always thought I would move abroad first. My plan was always to stay in this small town so I could save up enough to move abroad for two years and travel. Maybe I’d settle down in Vancouver afterwards, when I had travelled enough to want to stay in one place for a long time.

But I heard myself saying something different and I didn’t know if it was a lie or if something in me just wanted to match that spark in her. But once our conversation was over, I took myself aside so I could see what was really going on and that’s when I heard it. The quiet voice. The one I never heard before. The one that felt so outside of me but also completely within. And it told me that Vancouver was next and that Europe and travel and seeing the rest of the world, that would come too. But this is next. Something is there.

I’ve talked a bit about the gravity of knowing here before. It’s something I’m trying to learn to listen to more often. It’s something I’m trying to learn to pay attention to. It’s difficult when our ego is so loud and takes up most of the room. But when I heard it, I told myself I needed to listen to it. Or at the very least, explore the idea.

The first thing that popped into my head was how expensive this would be. The move itself would be pricey and then living there would be too. What if I couldn’t find a job? What if I’m just being impulsive? What if. What if. What if.

And then I told that voice to quiet down, in a motherly tone. I was still at work so sorry to customers who might have passed by me and heard me talking to myself. It must have been weird. But anyways, I knew I had to listen to this, because from my experience, this voice, this whisper, this gravity is a clue. It’s a knowing.

I went over to my store manager and asked him if we could talk about something privately and brought him this plan I had yet to figure out and that’s when I knew even more. By the way his eyes lit up at the idea. How excited he was for me. How eager he became to help me and support me with this move in any way he could. The way he told me he’d get me a secure job with one of our stores in Vancouver and how he’ll get me a raise and probably a promotion there. He told me to email him a preference list of which area I’d want to work in Vancouver because with his recommendation, the stores will be fighting for me. All I felt in that moment was complete gratitude. I’m so grateful to be surrounded with so much love and so much respect and with managers and coworkers who value one another’s work ethic.

When I told my mom, her eyes watered down so quickly with joy, and then I did the thing I feared: I called my dad. Our relationship has been pretty non-existant but we’re both trying to slowly create something. We’re both trying to learn about each other the way we never got to when I was growing up. I wasn’t expecting him to have the response he did, but it was the first time I’d seen any emotion flutter his face other than anger. It was just happiness and all of a sudden, he was willing to do anything to help me move there. He was willing to help me apartment hunt and he was willing to take the trip up there with me in July to put a deposit down on a place and to explore a city I’d call home even though I’ve never been there.

Because I listened to that small voice that told me this crazy thing that was outside of my plan, it brought everyone together. It connected me further with my work family. It brought me this new bond with my dad that I’ve never had before. And it also brings me more uncertainty than ever.

Moving to another province that’s a five-hour flight (or a 4-5 day drive) from where I live, a place I’ve never been to, is a terrifying and exhilarating thought. It’s something I never really imagined myself doing, at least not yet. I was supposed to be saving more for abroad. I was supposed to be doing a lot of other things. But because I listened to this thing, because I paid attention to it and gave it room to speak, I found myself right in the center of where I needed to be.

When things align like this, you have to remind yourself to be more grateful than afraid. I’m afraid because all the money I have saved so far is now going towards this move and a new place instead of abroad. I’m afraid because that city is far more expensive that my current one. I’m afraid because I don’t know anyone there. I’m afraid because I’ve never even been there.

But I know this is it. I know there is something there for me. I know that because I’ve learned to trust that voice. I know that because just putting this idea out there has brought a lot of people in my life together to help me and support me in this transition. I know that it’s just a few months away and there’s a lot to do, but I also know that it’s completely worth it.

I know that because this is the feeling I’ve been craving for so long. This is a challenge I’ve been asking for. Something that’s exciting and scary and brings me closer to something far bigger than me.

I’m excited for September and I’m excited for Vancouver. I’m excited about this change and I’m excited to see what’s in store for me. I believe that energy transfers and flows and I know that something in me clicked with the energy my friend had.

When in doubt, stubbornly trust yourself. The small voice knows more than the loud one.

 

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Living in Secondary Colours: What Happens When We Forget the Core?

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“The only way to gain power in a world that is moving too fast is to learn to slow down. And the only way to spread one’s influence wide is to learn how to go deep. The world we want for ourselves and our children will not emerge from electronic speed, but rather from spiritual stillness that takes root in our souls. Then, and only then, will we create a world that reflects the heart instead of shattering it”

–  Marianne Williamson 

Over the past year or so, I’ve been amazed by the raw. I’ve grown more and more interested in primary thoughts, primary colours, the first drafts, the first words, and the first loves.

I think as humans, we are each given a raw soul. Each one differs from the rest and yet, the truths are, for some intrinsic and unknown reason, the same. That’s why for thousands and thousands of years, we’ve all been entrapped and restless to seek the answers to the same questions.

For some reason, the soul that you have has chosen your body to call it home. Why? I don’t think we’ll ever know, and I don’t think we need to. I think what we do need to learn is what this particular soul that we’ve been given yearns for.

We see nature and how its habits have stayed consistent for thousands of years. The trees know how to prepare for the winter and how to flourish in the summer. They know how to change colours in the fall and how to grow bigger in the heat. They know because they’ve been doing it for so long and any learned behaviour just becomes a natural way of being at some point.

But for us, we’re all doing it for the first time. This is the body this soul chose for the first time. We are trying to learn how to listen to it for the first time. And the cost of rawness is our messy and complicated lives.

If we think of primary colours: the reds, the yellows, and the blues; they are beautiful on their own. But with them, we got to create oranges, purples, and greens. That flourishment, that secondary beauty, was a creation. It’s a bonus. But sometimes, I think we get too caught up in the secondaries and the flourishments that I think we forget about what it takes to create that beauty. If we have no foundation, there can be no growth. Instead, we’ll just be floating in the air. I think sometimes, we forget about the raw tools that allow us to create.

We forget that it is only when we come to our core, when we accept our rawness, that we can then flourish it into a greater authentic beauty.

If we go back to how the trees learned their behaviour and really dig down to the essential point of which they understood how to flow with the weather, we can understand that all they needed to learn was how to be. It’s been a pretty hard thing for me to wrap my own mind around. Living in this particular culture, I’m ingrained with the idea of pushing myself, being ambitious, fighting for what I believe in, and protecting who I am. And so the idea of just being is a foreign concept.

But our bodies and our minds already know how to rise us to the highest version of ourselves. Our pushing and fighting and attempts to control our lives just make us get in the way of ourselves.

The less we battle with our own lives and ourselves, and the more we just let ourselves be, the easier it will be for us to flow and rise to our highest selves. Our souls know things that we don’t. Let’s try and let them do their jobs and stop getting in the way of ourselves over and over again.

The state of being looks different for all of us, but the place is the same. We just have to learn how to come back to the raw and the primary so that we can flourish and create something far bigger than ourselves. And that thing you’ll have created? You’ll know what it feels like because you’ll feel connected. Maybe not with as many people, but instead with nature, with the sunrise, and the moon phases. You’ll feel like a part of the natural flow of our universe.

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The Notion of Surrender: A Form of Defeat or Connection?

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The theme of my life has lately been understanding the notion of surrender so that I can stop resisting it. If I were to describe this process that I’m going through, I would relate it to a human ripping his or her skin apart for the first time, in its initial transformation into a werewolf. That’s the extent of pain I’ve been feeling and that’s the pain I’m trying to stop resisting, because when I do allow myself to rest in it, I come out exhausted, drained, and weak. The more yoga I do, the more I write my book, the more I read, the more I check in with myself; the more I do all of the things that are supposed to be good for me, the more I experience this outbreak of pain that is so internal but results in an external state of defeat.

It’s a difficult thing to describe because it’s a difficult thing for me to understand right now. But what I’ve done to help with the process is understand the act of surrender a little bit more. And with that, I’ve come to believe that in its most simplest of forms, surrender is both acceptance and forgiveness. But what I recently came to realize is that maybe it can be love, too. And if love and hate are written on the same spectrum of passion, is surrender just a form of defeat to all that is within you? And if you are what you love, does that mean that you are also all of that of which you hate?

We all perceive and experience love differently. The way we go about it, the way we feel it, what we need from it and what we want from it; it’s all different because we’re all different. So how is it that love is a uniting? Shouldn’t it just be ripping us apart more?

It didn’t really make sense to me until it clicked that love is a surrender. When we form any relationship, whether it be with a friend, a partner, a family member, or a coworker, we are surrendering. We each experience love differently, but when we form a healthy relationship of any sorts, we surrender by compromising our egos. Our needs and wants don’t always meet the needs and wants of another, but when we reach that compromise to form a union with another human being, we’re surrendering to our souls and compromising our egos. Because what love is, is a surrender to yourself for something greater and outside of you: it is a surrender for connection. Because even though our egos want different things, they are fueled in the same manner. Because even though we are all different, we are more the same.

But before we surrender to a love shared with another human being, I think we first have to surrender to ourselves.

There was a time when I thought I could only love myself once I no longer had any flaws. But being human means that you will always be flawed. I mean, how else would we grow? But if you can only love yourself once you’re the size you want to be or are in the field you want to be in or as financially stable as you want to be or have clear skin, etc. etc., then you will always find an excuse for not participating in this practice of self-love. We can’t keep telling ourselves that once we check boxes A, B, and C, then we will love ourselves because we’ll always find something else that is wrong. Needless to say, that isn’t a bad thing because the point of the human journey is just a state of becoming, and always becoming. If you didn’t become aware of the parts of you that need more work, then you wouldn’t be growing.

But it’s all a practice. I mean, your soul is the only soul like that in this world and it chose your body to call home. Therefore, you are the first person to try and figure out what it needs and what its purpose is. That process is messy and complicated because anything being done for the first time is messy and complicated. Your job is simply to feed your soul and that’s tricky because you have an ego thats voice tends to be a bit louder.

But maybe our job here is just to learn all the wrong things and try and be all the wrong things only to come back to ourselves so that we can peel away all the layers we spent years adding to. And so that we can find the root of it all again. Because that is where our truth lies. That is where it has always been. And maybe, we can understand that the process of unlearning is surrender.

Sometimes when you begin to surrender, you relate it to a form of defeat. That’s what makes the process so hard. That’s what makes the peeling away feel like a shredding of your skin. But what that defeat really is, is just compromising the ego for a connection that is far greater than yourself: it’s a connection with your soul.

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