Beauty + Brains
My first major misalignment…
There have been several times in adulthood when it felt like the ceiling of my life was caving in, either suffocatingly or extremely uncomfortably. When I was able to pause and look at the riffs in my life as signals, beacons towards a misalignment, I realized the opportunity masked by hardship. I recall the first time this occurred. It inevitably ended in major changes in my life. I had just returned to Los Angeles after a big gamble – I had asked my supervisors in a very big corporate environment to allow me to move to Austin for six months and work remotely, still managing my team. I was young, an insatiable worker, had inherited the lion share of overseeing a huge chunk of business in my field of marketing (specifically entertainment and media content), and most importantly – no one was allowed to work remotely at that time. (Sidebar – one of the greatest bits of advice I can give is just ask. Someone can always say no).
When I returned to Los Angeles, the metaphorical wheels came off my bus, and I felt like I was screeching into oncoming traffic every damn day. The apartment I was returning to fell through, and I lived in three homes in four months before finding a dream space nestled below the Hollywood sign, in an auspicious part of town, steeped in spiritual history. The promotion I was supposed to be getting when I returned fell through, and a hiring freeze was put into place. Though I would get a large raise and better position within three months, this was stunning news to come back to as I constantly slaved away and was wildly underpaid. My car broke down unexpectedly, things malfunctioned constantly, I got really sick. And while I have now known extreme dysfunction, trauma, grief and loss all at once, these problems at this time were enough to throw my hands in the air, grab a bottle of wine, drink straight from it, and commit myself to watching it all go up in flames with a good buzz and a choice seat. But, I also slowed down and wondered for the first time in my adult life, “What am I missing? What is out of sync that is causing all the problems?” This story does not end with me having the answer, but it certainly has a middle section that’s important – I sought a healer and therapist, my first ever, to aid me in figuring it out and set myself on a path that has unfolded for over eight years now. We worked through a lot, but I don’t recall arriving at a collective answer. I just felt emboldened to look at this big chasm in my life and say I see you, and I am investigating where I might be out of alignment in my focuses and what I’m settling for. Things changed quite quickly, actually, because misalignment asks that you acknowledge it.
Carl Jung and Life Purpose…
Long before the phrase “living authentically” got plenty of lip service, plenty of great thinkers over the centuries wrote extensively about the topic – about life purpose, even about destiny. The pioneering psychologist Carl Jung, at whose altar my current grad school certainly sits at, spoke plenty about individuation and going inside ourselves for answers as to who we are and what our place in the world might be. He said, “Looking outwards has got to be turned into looking into oneself. Discovering yourself provides you with all you are, were meant to be, and all you are living from and for.”
Now, it is like willingly swallowing a wishbone for many to believe in fate, destiny, a grand plan for us. What I am referring to, and I believe Jung is too, is simply that we each are unique, possessing of certain qualities and strengths, certain karma, and a path that is most in line with our special souls.
Over the years, some of the primary themes that have cropped up in my life to fully illustrate to me that strong unconscious beliefs are at play, causing intense misalignments are:
o Attracting more than one or two people not in their integrity at once, not matching my expectations of my own honesty and others. This tells me I’ve somehow lost some self-worth and broken with my strong intuition, and I am just exiting a short but agonizing phase of this.
o Financial distress when there was none. This causes a decline in confidence and a crescendo in anxiety, and more. Often times, those were actually the precursors to this financial fall-out, but they were occurring unconsciously for me.
o One major aspect of life dwindling while another is healthy (e.g. spirituality and health intact but financial or relationship status steeply declines). This is one I have come to learn the hard way, and that’s that I have possessed an unconscious belief most of my life that I can not in fact have it all. My all has always been modest, and yet I belief deep down I don’t deserve it. This is an incredibly important one for me to watch.
A few of my suggestions:
o Take stock not only of your current actions but what it is inside of you, what it is you believe about yourself, that has led to all these synchronicities, and not necessarily optimal ones. Journaling this would really deepen your findings.
o Consider asking friends, loved ones or colleagues what they see if you’re having a hard time stepping out to look in. Be clear with your questions and open-minded to their feedback. This way we don’t set up our people to fail!
o Seek a therapist, coach, healer, someone to work the recognition and changes with you.