Just as I suspected, I found a wonderful place to live until I find myself a more permanent home with 12 hours of making it an intention . I found myself feeling guilty about leaving and was hesitant to tell Alice and Chantelle (Justin’s wife and sister) that I had found a place – this was totally not something that was a genuine feeling of the present moment. I felt like it came from a place of keeping myself small, meaning that growing up as the “baby” in the family I often felt guilty for growing up. So this feeling was one of shame around not needing or wanting the protection and support of the family. I did tell them I had found a place and was met with almost no reaction which initially made me wonder if they had understood my English! I told Justin and he had a few questions, but overall all he asked was “How does it feel?” I told him it felt really good and that it is time for me to go. I will be leaving tomorrow morning.
I am reminded of a few months ago when I left my friend Eileen’s home in Nelson, BC, it was time for me to leave and I was acting on that feeling. I went to the Ashram as a place to regroup and see what would reveal itself to me as a next step. At that point in the journey, I had just enough money to get myself to Rwanda and nothing more. When I arrived I immediately felt at home. I wanted to stay until my departure in June but that turned out to be my fear disguised as a secure feeling from being back at my spiritual home where there was love, support and amazing energy. It turned out to be one of the most stressful times I have had at the Ashram yet! I felt like I was, in some ways, using them as a safety net. I even spoke to my Mentor about projecting onto the Ashram a parental role, a way for me to feel protected and safe when really this community could spit me out at any moment, which just about happened this time! There is nothing certain about what goes on in this community other than expect the unexpected and grow from it!
Most of my time spent at the Ashram prior to this moment had been for free (financially), with the exception of paying for the courses I took and the alloted time allowed for extension post course. This time I was told I had to pay. This created all kinds of emotional reactions and responses, which I had the opportunity to explore during my stay. I was able to sit back and watch what happened in my mind and body because of these reactions. For example, I tried to leave instantly and go stay with one of my friends who had offered a place on the east shore and did so several times. I went back and forth between what I was feeling and what I needed. I had to trust that I needed to be there because of the way I felt inside in that moment. So I honored that feeling and reflected on it enough to then see it was the fear I spoke of earlier. It took me 2 1/2 weeks and $580 to figure out I needed to trust what I knew was right and leave.
Once I decided to let go of the attachment to going to Rwanda I was able to see more clearly what I needed in the present moment, which was to take care of myself and step into the fear. So I left and went to stay at the White House Hostel in Nelson while I looked for my next place to live. I was presented with the opportunity to leave the next morning with two male Swami’s who were going into town. What a great way to transition into a next step, literally being taken their by my spiritual teachers and the fact that they were men was very symbolic for me at the time!
Again, more money going out and more trust that if I was meant to go to Rwanda it would all work out. After two days of searching for a place I had a response and went to meet a man who had a room for rent. I was met by a happy, familiar, soothing voice that said “Amanda?” as I opened the door and it was instantly as if we had known each other for years. We talked for 2 hours about the Ashram, Swami Radha, spiritual living and life in general. I went back to the hostel to “sleep on it” and I woke up with “YES!” in my mind. I was even more surprised to find that he had sent an email offering me the room for free. It was clearly a sign. After living in many homes and many ways I have learned what makes me feel balanced and so I offered him money anyway as a symbolic gesture of taking care of myself but also wanted to honor what his heart was telling him as well, we came to an agreement and the deal was done. I moved in the next day to a wonderful home and family that held and supported me in exactly the ways I needed and in ways I didn’t know I needed. It was during this time that I found the courage to file sexual assault charges from 7 years earlier. I had very intentionally put myself in a living situation with a man to help me grow and it turned out to be much bigger than I expected. The healing that took place from my time with my new (old) friend Aaron was exactly what I needed to heal before coming to Rwanda.
So what is it that I will find with this next step…..I do not know. What I do know is that I am consciously dealing with confidence to step out into teaching Yoga, dance and really embracing my gifts. After one comment I received today on a forum in response to my ad about offering my skills and visiting a web site for a place to teach, I found myself shaken and momentarily feeling anxious and “not good” enough. I allowed this to happen only until I noticed it and then let it go. I am on a journey and I am making amazing leaps. I want to use the comments and people that make me feel inferior as motivation to keep going and to learn from. So I breath, I review what I know to be true for myself and I come back to my center. This fear is not mine, it feels like another layer that has been put on me and I am ready to shed.
At the new place last night, I met one of the young women that lives there and her family, who were visiting from France. It was her birthday, she will be 21 this weekend and she is living in Rwanda by herself – sounds pretty brave. Her mother looked at the woman I was touring the house with and said “If anything happens, you’ll take care of her right? She’s only young.” I looked at Alex (21) and she rolled her eyes, her shoulders slumped, she sank down in her chair and I knew in that moment exactly how she felt. I know this scene well as these things have been said to me my whole life, both verbally and non-verbally. People telling me I could not do things on my own, which always made me feel incredibly angry and frustrated. I acted from this place of anger and it led to me making spiteful choices instead of heartfelt ones. I was constantly trying to prove I was responsible (ie: Lifeguard, Nursing), capable and wanting to be taken seriously by those around me. Now I know it is my responsibility to navigate my own emotions and not let them make my decisions for me.
When I got sick I handed my responsibilities over to my parents because I needed help in order to heal, which I am incredibly grateful to them for, but it is difficult to come out from underneath of as it seems they see me as more weak and incapable than ever before. What I know is that I am stronger because of being able to admit I was ill, being vulnerable and asking for help. I know the work I have done and how strong I am and always have been. It is still and always has been about me finding the inner confidence and taking MYSELF seriously, not about proving anything to anyone else. This is one of my biggest barriers to success. I feel that I am taking steps towards actually taking myself seriously by doing whatever I have to in order to stay where I know I need to be and putting myself in situations that make me feel that “you are not good enough” feeling. When I hear that Mantra begin to sound in my mind I can acknowledge it, talk to it, listen to it and understand it because somehow it served me in the past. The goal being to move it out of my mind by replacing it with the updated version of who I am now, which is “I am good enough!”
Next step: Move into new place and keep looking for a permanent place. Build my confidence by putting my strengths to the test and giving myself what I need to move in the seriously awesome potential that lies within! Om Siva (Destroyer of Obstacles!)