A Creative Response to the Blows of Fate?
I’ve spent the last week dealing with migraines. It has been an interesting experience. I’ve had ‘migraine clusters’ in the past – times when I’ve gotten three migraines over a two-week period, for example. This one has been different. I’ve come to think of it as one long migraine. Sometimes I feel almost fine, other times I feel woozy but mostly functional – and then there have been the days where I just have to lie down and be still.
As you might imagine, I’ve found this sense of being repeatedly incapacitated somewhat frustrating. Especially since I haven’t felt caught up on work and other obligations since the year began. And that, given the still-drastic financial situation my family has been in for the last few months, being able to work feels somewhat do-or-die.
Three Forms of Surrender
Late in the day last Wednesday, I finally surrendered to the migraine gods. I was remembering a conversation with a friend who is a very advanced spiritual practitioner and who started getting migraines comparatively late in life. She’s a fighter and she felt the same frustration at having to stop completely, cancel appointments and classes, etc.
But she said something that stuck with me, something about the migraines forcing her to stop doing and to just be – and further, to be in a state of no expectations. As I ruminated on that statement, it felt so clear to me that this was what was calling to me. So, I finally gave up (as much as I could) and surrendered to my body’s desire to withdraw and close up shop.
And wouldn’t you know, I’ve received a series of remarkable insights over the course of the next three days. Just one of these “new ways of seeing” could radically reshape the course of my life, if I’m able to act on it. (One thing I realized is the effect the pattern described in Part 1 has been having on my finances and my career shift; the Uranus-Pluto square has been sitting right on my natal Venus (money, career, relationships in my chart) since the start of 2015, which is pretty much (a) when I realized I had to follow my intuition and do more of what I love or else… and (b) when it felt like someone had turned my income stream faucet from flow to drip, drip……drip.
One thing that’s great about being busy, fighting for survival, having too much work, etc. – it’s easy to justify not facing the feelings you don’t want to examine. Because: “Well, I just don’t have the time right now.” I suppose you could call the phase that started last Wednesday the surrendering to the need to surrender phase.
Early on in our work together, my coach for 2014-15 (Lisa Buell, she’s great!) suggested to me that I train myself to look at Resistance – either internal or in the form of circumstances, relationships and other external challenges – as an opportunity to build my spiritual muscles.
This perspective came up in a conversation last week with someone who is experiencing the Pluto-Uranus-Lilith pattern in a big way – and in a way that’s very similar to how I’m experiencing it. Money concerns triggering deep core family and self-esteem patterns, feeling on the very edge of survival, and feeling unsupported by the very people who are “supposed to be” on your side.
In fact, she and I had eerily similar money occurrences last week. Both of us saw money “taken off the table” in strange ways. My friend found out that money she had been counting on from a gig she had been promised would not be arriving. Because the promoter had given the gig to someone else. And wasn’t planning to even inform my friend.
Two people for whom I’d done work just didn’t pay me. And two checks I did receive got sent to a defunct deposit box and may have gone to the great dead letter box in the sky. (“Mercury-Saturn: Delays,” says Astro.com.)This amounted to $1,300 – basically a month’s rent – not being in my account when my landlord cashed the rent check.
My friend and I both had a nearly identical reaction to the news we were not getting paid. We immediately went into this frenetic survival-mode response. Something like:
“How am I going to replace that money? I need to start calling people up and selling them on my services! I’ll work for half my normal rate, I just need the money now! What can I do? Why does this happen? Oh my god…”
Here’s the crazy-ass warrior warrior-training paradigm for artists and self-employed creators kicks in. What Lisa helped me see is that any money I generate from this place of desperate neediness is not going to truly help me get where I want to go. Because:
- It’s not adult me generating that money; it’s an inner child/family system part in the soul who is stuck in a place of lack, scarcity, and victim drama;
- Whatever sale or service I’m creating from this place of stress and survival drama is not going to be enjoyable for me to fulfill. In fact, based on past experience, it usually tends to be a drag. As a reader friend of mine said, “You ever notice how the person who shows up on that day when you’re desperate for money tends to be the client who wants to argue with everything you tell them?”
- I’m not making a conscious, intentional choice to keep trusting my dream and my direction and to demonstrate trust that Life/the Muse/God/Goddess will reward my dedication. Instead I’m allowing Resistance to trick me into quitting. Because, let’s face it – do I get back to making music on those “desperately got to make something happen” days? (No, I don’t. I make myself miserable and then add to the misery by beating myself up for not making music.)
Lisa’s encouragement was to use these occasional out-of-the-blue PANIC! moments (and all the smaller frustrations in between) as an opportunity to build my trust and joy muscles. Which means, showing up and sitting down with the music,
even though especially when I seem to have a good reason for not showing up. “I’ll get back to it later,” we say. “Right now, this is more important.”
So, look: If my house was burning down, would I sit down and work on my new song instead of calling the fire department? Of course not. Making a concrete, decisive action in an emergency is smart. I’m doing what I can to solve the problem.
Frantically pacing around the room and repeating to myself, Oh, this is terrible! What am I going to do? Why does this happen to me? on the other hand, does not bring me one cent closer to refilling my bank account.
When I felt good enough this week, I did sing. Maybe not for as long as I’d have liked to. But I did. And I played my guitar. Has this immediately replaced the lost money? Not yet. Do I feel like I’ve put in my reps this week? I do. Why is this important to me? Because I’ve been working on trusting my intuition for 20 years now. I don’t always listen as well I’d like, and I sometimes mistranslate my inner guidance based on my own ego shit. But I know the flavor of that inner voice that says, “Please listen – you can’t afford to go against this flow.” And I know what happens when I ignore that voice for too long.
Maybe we could call this the surrendering the illusion of control and practicing being in my joy phase.
Anger (surrendering to)
Another form of surrender is allowing ourselves to feel the anger that so many of us automatically repress (and then pretend isn’t there). We have this widespread belief in society that anger is unhealthy. But anger actually gets our energy up. What’s unhealthy is stuffing the anger back into our body and soul and pretending we’re OK. Because that’s when you practice black magic on others. Subconsciously (at least) whenever you think of that person, you are sending out little attacking thoughts. Or you’re outright gossiping about them, spreading the poison around.
I’m not saying, “Attack the person you’re angry at with a good blast of anger!” I am saying: You know the anger is there. Just like the fact it’s 25 degrees outside today in Atlanta. So, stop lying to yourself and use the anger to make things better. Feel it. Let yourself feel what you’re already feeling. Anger is motivating. It’s energizing. It’ll get you off your victim bed and back to creating the life you want. Which happens when you do more of what you want, day by day. And which (back me up on this?) does not happen when you’re moping around like a big, sad victim-baby. Just waiting for that one fine day when all those people who wronged you will finally show up on your doorstep with flowers and deliver a heartfelt mea culpa acknowledging how horrible they were to you.
As mentioned in Part 1, Black Moon Lilith seems to play a special role in helping us become so painfully aware of the anger we’ve stuffed that we can no longer avoid noticing it. For us veteran anger-stuffers, Black Moon Lilith transits can be uniquely upsetting. But once we get that stuck energy moving up and out, we are actually free to flow with Life again, lighter, more flexible, and more open to opportunities than before the transit.
Hope you found this helpful. I’d love to hear your experiences with any of these perspectives, or about other techniques that work for you when you feel pinned down, paralyzed, placed under a curse, or otherwise sorely tempted to abandon your dream and go into self-destructive mode.