A little over a year ago I traveled halfway around the globe to sit really still for 10 days. My older sister was leading a meditation retreat in Bali, and I had one of those deep, guttural knowings that my ass needed to be on that cushion sitting in that circle listening to what the Divine wanted me to know.
There were a million reasons it shouldn't have worked out. Motherly duties and financial limitations ranked up there with the best of them, but in a matter of weeks Spirit had it all sorted out. She even threw in a first-class upgrade to let me know who was boss.
While I was in Bali many (many) things happened, but the one thing that surprised me the most was this hellbent passion to focus on my writing career. At the time I was neck-deep in offering mystical, intuitive services, and yet I knew something was off. I had been in and out of the spiritual closet more times than I could count, and I waffled between sheer elation and tired reluctance every time I did a reading for a new client. My intuition felt more like a burden than a blessing, and I just wanted it to "click."
Let's be honest, I wanted it to be easy.
But it wasn't easy. It felt conflicted and confusing. Mysticism had absolutely saved me. It was the door that had guided me into my own heart, and yet I couldn't seem to find solid ground to understand how to best use it to help others while also not draining me. My heart was clearly leading me in the direction of sharing, but each time I faced outward, I wanted to turn and run back inside.
But something shifted in Bali. Sitting there on that mystical little island in the middle of the jungle, I caught a glimpse of the truest parts of me. I saw the little girl who had been faithfully keeping a journal since age 7. I touched the heart of the brooding teenager whose only outlet was the safety of the page. And I felt deeply into the young woman who poured over books searching for the magic words to steer her life. I was being shown a path, and I felt a deep yearning to keep traversing it.
I came home with passion and fire. I took down my website and declared myself out of the mystical game as far as readings were concerned. I devoted myself to my writing and even entered a fiction competition (which I lost - cue the sad music). It was time to take myself and my writing seriously, and I didn't want any distractions.
I knew tons about the power of focus, and I used it to explore new avenues. I submitted an article to Elephant Journal, and (gasp) it was accepted! I screamed and cheered and jumped up and down in my sister's living room with tears rolling down my cheeks when I got the news. I set my eyes on being a columnist, and within a month it happened. Things were moving right along.
But then the Excitement fizzled and faded.
In a matter of weeks something that had felt so liberating and so promising turned into a grind. I found myself forcing content, and it didn't feel good. Authenticity has always been my driving beacon in life, and my desire to achieve and my natural creative urges were not aligning. I wrote an article about a controversial topic that received some pretty nasty comments online, and I found myself folding right back into my shell. It was the same reflex I had experienced when I was doing readings, except now I was doing what I was supposedly destined to do. It didn't make sense.
I spent a handful of months questioning everything. Was it wrong or selfish for me not to use my intuitive gifts to help others? Was I really a mediocre writer who needed to find my outlet in my journal and call it good? Shouldn't I be further along in my career by now? It was a shit storm of self-abuse, and I felt bruised and battered.
I spent the summer gingerly experimenting with balance. I kept feeling called to work with the clients who had loved me through all the iterations of my business, and I started doing readings in a way that felt lighter. I hit pause on the writing and allowed myself to wake up every day and just do what felt good. The mystical world kept calling me back in, and I sincerely wanted to find a way to make it work.
And then one day I heard Spirit whispering again. She was clear and swift and firm, and it was like someone had flipped on a switch. She talked about a circle of women. About mystical activation and big bold moves. About partnering with my sister.
I had spend the summer hungry to feel as impassioned and as sure as I had felt in Bali, and I wept at the clarity with which it was all happening. In a matter of days my older sister and I were collaborating on a new project, and Sister Medicine was born. Women stepped forward, a circle was formed, and the magic whisked right back into my life. I was writing content for our program, and I felt this delicate balance taking shape. Could I be both? Could I find balance between the Kayla the mystic and Kayla the writer?
Something was coming together.
Our first Sister Medicine Circle was a huge success, and I was high off the ease and decisiveness with which everything had transpired. The New Year was upon us, and my sister and I planned our year of collaboration. Circles, courses, retreats. Even a book. It was all taking shape so beautifully.
But the inner barometer began to sound its alarm yet again. The pendulum was swinging too far, and I was begging it to shut the hell up. Things were great. Didn't it see that?
But there was something greater at work, and Lacy and I both knew it. We agreed to take a break on the majority of our projects while she journeyed to Peru to heal with ancient plant medicine, and I spent time focused on family matters. I want to say that her trip felt important, but it was much, much bigger than that. Her trip felt huge, monumental, as necessary as water, and I knew that it would be paramount that I stay singularly focused while she was away.
I was right.
She and I spent those two weeks connected firmly at the heart. As the ayahuasca ripped through her body, we experienced overlapping visions, shared dreams and visceral bodily sensations that tore through us both. The little girl inside of me that I had seen in Bali curled herself up in my stomach and pleaded to be held. Suddenly it wasn't even an option to ignore the psychic side of myself. It was completely running the show.
Something blurred in those two weeks, and I found such tenderness for myself and for the way things unfold in life. Where I was seeing only absolutes and hard edges before, I found softness and grace in its place. Where I was enforcing rigid standards and harsh deadlines, I found flexibility and fluidity.
I expanded into the space around my body.
I felt a quieting happening, and at the same time I also knew that I would be propelled yet again to change the way I interact with the world. I wasn't seeing this push and pull between mystic or writer. I was just seeing so much space for joy. It was like every lesson I ever learned in meditation came flooding into my psyche all at once, and I was awash with this knowing that life is only right now. So we might as well set about the task of enjoying this moment at hand.
It has been almost two weeks since Lacy has been back, and I found myself on the phone with her just the other day spilling with excitement about the creative surges that have filled my meditations since her deep work in the jungle. How I've had to steal away from bed at night to write. How I know that I know that I know that the writing career is still meant to be born and that the mystical career is the sweet vehicle to me finding my voice. How I feel so clear and so sure and so grateful.
But mostly how it doesn't have to be one or the other.
Hell, it doesn't have to be anything.
The softness around this sense of self is expansive and ever-growing. I have realized yet again that it doesn't matter what my website says or how often I blog or if I work on my book or spend the day in meditation. It just matters that I'm moving toward the light.
Most of us miss out on that small, important detail in today's world. We have been programmed to think we need to achieve and earn and strive. And don't get me wrong, I like achievement. And I love money. Meh, striving isn't my bag. But there isn't anything inherently wrong with any of it. It's just that we've gotten ourselves so coiled around the outcome that we've squeezed out any room for enjoying the process. And I don't know about you, but I'd like to not wish away my days. I'd like to marvel. I think everyone deserves a little time for marveling.
I had a reading with a really gifted psychic a few weeks back, and my angels kept reminding me to have fun. They promised that the trajectory of my life path is big and bold and something I'll be proud of in the end, but they implored me to relax in the meantime and let it all happen. That the secret to it all happening is finding the joy. And couldn't we all use that reminder?
Here's what I'm saying to myself.
Relax. It's all going to be okay. It's all happening. You don't have to know what you want to be when you grow up. You don't even have to pick one thing. All you have to do is find joy today. Move in the direction that the light is shining from your heart. Follow that path. And if you can't tell which way the light is shining, then get still enough to see.
I am spending my days actively releasing every single person on this planet from their opinions about me and my life. Including myself. I am spending my meditations bumping out my aura and expanding into the space around my body. I'm cutting cords like a motherfucker, and I'm clearing out all the noisy corners that don't feel like they're aligned with my highest good.
My word this year is "discern," and I'm marveling at all the ways it's naturally taking shape in my life. I am making discerning choices in the direction of my deepest passions, and I'm giving myself permission for the passions to be many.
See, the truth is that you don't have to be just one thing. The beauty of the diamond is in the dazzling sparkle that comes from her many facets. And even though they're all angled slightly differently, the light finds them nonetheless.