Deep Heart Work: Who Am I Part 1000
Around October of last year, I was one-class deep in my Astrology 101 Course, raring to go into deep study of birth charts so I could understand and share this ancient wisdom tradition with the people I love, and the community I serve.
A week into astrology school I found out I was admitted into an entrepreneurial program called 10,000 Small Businesses, and I had to immediately make a decision: Was I going to study the stars, which I intrinsically know would be part of my path just not exactly how or when... or was I going to get the business education I always wished I had for free.
I decided I wanted to go through the business program. It was not only something that couldn't be deferred but also was something I got into by the skin of my teeth. (I'm pretty sure I was the last scholar admitted into the program.)
I had a lot of ideas about what business education is about, and at the time it felt like I was choosing to take the rational more materialistic *less risky* and more "responsible" path when I got to this fork in the road; what I am learning, or perhaps more accurately, what I am remembering, is that all work is energy work, all work is spiritual work, if you are doing it from that place.
Part of what they ask us to do in our class is define what it is we do, who we serve, and exactly what it is we offer in as few words as possible.
This is painstakingly difficult for me.
When I was kid I had to write a book report on Matthew Henderson, the Arctic explorer and I had to redo it because it was 18 pages longer than the 3 page suggested length. I was a fourth grader. Editing down has never been my thing.
In parallel to my entrepreneurial education, I have been deep diving into psychotherapy (at the suggestion of a karuna reiki practitioner, Radical Reiki) and I have found that much of my people-pleasing and empathic awareness of others' feelings and what they need is something that I had developed as a child, because for whatever reason, to be liked felt like something my very survival depended upon.
These two practices (and I use this word because both business school and therapy require showing up with full presence and having the attitude that there is much to be discovered) have both brought me to the same question: What do I have to offer that is both fulfilling to me and something I feel brings value to my community? What I have learned is that running to be "of service" to your loved ones is a way to run away from yourself, and also at times, can be a way of taking away someone else's lessons to be learned. (That friend of yours who always has to borrow money might figure it out if you would just stop coming to their rescue.)
What I am learning at the age of 34 is that without being beloved by others, nurturing them, being of service to them, listening and guiding, using myself as a research laboratory so I can share what works with them, reading different books for them, I am not entirely sure who I am. I have become so good at feeling other people's feelings and trying to make them feel better that I never made space to feel my own.
Recently my psychotherapist suggested I read the book, The Drama of the Gifted Child, (which my psychology major friends think is passe but which I find endlessly enlightening and impactful.)
"At first it will be mortifying to see that she is not always good, understanding, tolerant, controlled, and, above all, without needs, for these have been the basis of her self-respect."
"The Drama of the Gifted Child" - Alice Miller
I am learning to have my own needs met. Being in service of others is completely natural to me. It's unsettlingly easy. What requires much more effort, much more discomfort, is thinking about my own needs and prioritizing them. I have been repressing and suppressing anything that causes conflict for so long that it feels foreign to actually figure out "how I am." On top of that, because I am highly sensitive but so good at hiding my own feelings from myself when they're just too much to deal with, I have spent decades creating a false division between people who can 'control" their feelings and people who can't. (And feeling a subconscious disdain for people who throw tantrums, burst into tears or scream with joy without reading the room.)
I think part of the reason why I can't decide on any one task, identity, business or job description is because it involves the risk of failure, the burden of success, and perhaps most tenuous of all things, it involves removing identities I have built to please certain kinds of people. Shedding these identities means possibly losing some of my friends, some of my protective personas, and actually having to figure out what's beneath.
It involves the unknown.
I love to think about things. (Two out of three of the most important components of my astrological chart are air signs... )
I love to be theoretical. Theoretically I am progressive, experimental, rebellious and brave.
In practice, my palms sweat in group situations, my heart races when I think about doing something for the first time, I feel embarrassed when I push on a door and then realize it says pull, if I walk into a restaurant where I don't know if I am supposed to seat myself. I am riddled with anxiety faced with the smallest possibility that I might "mess something up."
What is true in theory is not often true in practice. The body provides information, the social interaction provides information that the brain thinks "makes no sense." But it's still true information even if our rational mind doesn't know what to do with it. And the irrationality of it suggests that there are other valuable metrics for information besides logic.
So what is Myths of Creation. What is my value to my community.
This where things get hairy.
Myths of Creation is a retail space that disagrees with most tenets of poorly-regulated modern capitalism. (But a company spawned by an individual who knows what it's like to want things and to love to collect things.)
Myths of Creation is a space in which we negotiate with great empathy. Where we connect to one another upon the basis that above anything else, I plan on looking at you exactly as you are, without social pretense, without wanting anything from you and that if I treat you that way you will make intelligent decisions on your own, that will empower and guide you to learn about yourself, and show parts of yourself to the world that you never even knew were there.
Myths of Creation is a space intent on filling gaps in the education system: about the history of spirituality, about how our ancestry might impact us on a genetic level, about what a sense of self is, about what to do with emotions, about how to "de-condition" yourself. About navigating spaces so you can imbue your everyday actions with meaning and beauty.
Myths of Creation is a clothing store where you can actually afford something.
Myths of Creation is a curatorial service and an experience generator. It's a social experiment. It's a living art project. It's a subtle performance art piece constantly happening. It's creating a business that aligns with spirituality. It's a balance of scientific inquiry and deep narrative digging. It's the energetic equivalent of golden drapes hanging from the ceiling enveloping and wrapping you up until you feel golden. It's someone actually seeing you and asking nothing of you. It's someone giving you space if you don't feel like being seen. It's a place to take a deep breath.
What do we offer? Who do serve? What do we envision?
We envision lightness in your heart. We envision finding your inner light and learning how to brighten it, change it's color, dim it, and then setting you out into the world to shine it as only you can.
It's a poem your neighbor wrote. It's someones five years of experience looking at the palms of strangers hands and distilling their knowledge into an hour. It's a place that allows you to drop the nonsensical limiting beliefs we inherit from our parents (who inherited it from their parents) and replace them with something you have invented, something you can intentionally agree to.
I envision Myths creating a communal way of educating ourselves. Where we each learn and each teach, without hierarchy or the necessity of degrees but with great humility and a sense of responsibility. I envision interviews and media. Art and sound. I envision making music with my friends and constant experiments in courage. Facing fears together without pretense or the need to be famous except from among one another. I envision the greatest revolution of our time being in learning how to grow our own food, make our own clothes, make our own art and trading it among one another so we can begin to remember how objects come to be. Remember patience, remembering texture, remember seasons, remember working with what's in front of us. So we won't buy them so impulsively and trash them without a second thought.
What does this mean for us as of today? It means reaching out to folks to host workshops, curating more ritual tools and books and creations that will enable you to need what is outside of you less and discover what's inside of you more. It means (and this is the big one) a few less of the things I have always been good at finding: clothes, shoes, etc. It means being really really picky about what hangs on these hangers and sits on these shelves and perhaps not offering the immediate euphoria of ever-changing objects at the pace that I have in the last three years, but slowing it down to rebuild the core of who I am and what we need.
I'm rebuilding the home inside myself and rebuilding the home that this store has been for me.
Stretching out to offer reiki, tarot and sometimes teaching what I know about astrology has been the utmost rewarding part of my business in the last six months. This in addition to writing has awakened a part of me that I told to be quiet for the last six years, and I'm letting her have a much bigger say in what goes on from now on.
Happy Full Blue Blood Moon Eclipse.
Til next time,