The Tower card from tarot decks usually signify an event or time in one’s life when the Universe and their life stream / soul / Spirit decide it’s time for the individual to wake up. It may present itself as a traumatic event or a time in when everything seems to be falling apart. I also believe that it can present itself as an inner turmoil – like thunder rumbling within the darkened sky heralding a major storm, like the turbulent sea in the midst of such a storm, with strong winds forming huge crashing waves as we grip the edge of the little row boat we seem to find ourselves in. And, I think that is when we come to certain major cross-roads in our journey, a place where we decide which way we are going to go – sometimes consciously but before that mostly unconsciously. Most times we aren’t sure what we are doing, we’re scared, confused and we stumble along in blind panic trying our best to talk ourselves back into some semblance of calm. Sometimes, there is a voice within us that feels like the glow from a candle still alight even with the raging storm all around us, nudging us towards a certain choice or action. Either way, these times in our lives give us the opportunities to do what can’t not be done. The choice though is always ours.
This is my story.
The very first major experience that I had which I can recall wasn’t too long ago – in the grand scheme of things anyway. It was about 10 years ago, in a marriage that wasn’t working out too well, I fell into some sort of clinical depression. The reason why I say “some sort” is because I didn’t see anyone about it. What I did have involved “starting” my day going to work in the morning, coming home at five in the evening, crashing into bed till 10, staying awake the whole night till it was time to get to work either aimlessly surfing the net to escape reality or listening to music while getting lost in a fantasy world, smoking a lot more than was normal, when eating junk food instead of actual meals seemed easier, when taking a shower seemed like a major undertaking and therefore going days without one and actually feeling your heart shrivel up like a dried up prune. It was easier to not talk to the man I had married, in fact it felt peaceful. It was easier not talking to anyone because it took more energy than I could spare AND when you spend eight to nine hours a day talking to patients you just don’t have it in you to talk anymore, or that’s what I told myself. If I had to describe the two years in once sentence it would be that it felt like I was living in a thick, mucoid fog, feeling the core of myself shriveling up.
In April of 2006 I left. I had to. I couldn’t not leave. It was for both our sakes. I stumbled along the path I chose. It felt as if a horrible weight had lifted off my chest and being; and the times when I wondered if it had been the right choice, my palpitating heart and quickened respiration told me otherwise. It was liberating and at the same time it felt like I was still groping around in the dark. Looking back now, I feel it was like being born again. It was an opportunity of getting used to living life in the material sense – relearning how to forge friendships, being responsible for the daily things we do, becoming financially responsible, and at the same time it should have been a time for healing. How did I do? Well, that’s the thing isn’t it. When we aren’t really sure or aware of what’s going on within and around us, not truly aware, we sort of grope around in the dark, bumping into things, tripping over things, falling down, getting up and just…moving until at one point we fall back into a rut because we just don’t know any better. That is just what I did!
Fast forward to 2010 and Life nudged me along towards an open door. It wasn’t one that was fully ajar, I don’t think it happens that way. I feel it opens, maybe half way allowing us a peek at what lies behind the door, an idea of what it is offering and then waits to see if we choose to open it wider and walk through. That’s free will. I had my first Tarot card reading and suddenly I had (again, I feel it was more an unconscious choice going along with the flow of Life rather than a conscious one) walked into and onto people and opportunities which allowed to rekindle the interest I had in all things spiritual. You see, I had always harboured strong feelings towards this, this which I used to call “the occult and religion”. I loved listening to stories about other religions, spiritual teachings, the occult, life’s mysteries and the like. I had even bought a Tarot deck a long time ago but for some reason found it a little too complicated at that time. In 2010…I was ready. In 2010, I unknowingly made the choice to follow the path which would then take me to that point in time when I would finally awaken from the deep, deep slumber I was in. To finally open my eyes groggily at first and then with more clarity to actually start seeing with an awakened sense of awareness.
Some people who awaken have very drastic shifts, some like me sort of gently flow into it. Some people have sudden, awesome experiences while some like me seem to gather things gently. Some seem to blaze through once they’ve had an experience which awakens them to themselves and some like myself seem to have these “start- stop” phases intertwined with “plateaus” and then what seems like a “downward spill”. The thing is, I have learned that it really doesn’t matter because the over all effect is that once you choose to wake up and have successfully (and might I add a little stubbornly) rubbed the sleep from your eyes, once you’ve chosen to reach that tipping point of being more awake than asleep…it’s all systems go! The type of systems may be different for each person but at some point you will notice that you can’t not be unaware anymore. Sure, at times it takes conscious effort, but the sum total of your experiences will be awareness.
In 2012 there was another shift which happened. It’s as if my soul didn’t allow me to be at peace until I did something drastic.
In 2010, I was working in the corporate world as a Medical Manager for a Pharmaceutical company. The pay was good, the people I worked with were nice and I enjoyed some parts of my job…enough to allow me to go to work every day until at one point in time when I felt something wasn’t right. I didn’t seem to want to go to work anymore. I felt restless and uncomfortable; and the more I felt it the more I thought it was due to the change in the internal environment at work. I attributed it to everything else but a change in me. You see I didn’t sit in silence and contemplate this feeling. Instead I panicked, pulled by the tide of “I must get out of here!!” and that is what I did. Two years later, I looked for another job and agreed to the first opportunity that came to me. Within 3 months of joining the new company (also as a Medical Manager) , the feeling of being trapped came back …with a bigger bang. In my own way, I think this was when I sat down – maybe not so much in silence as being a little more quiet- and contemplated about why I was feeling this. As the months passed I must have listened to the voice in me and the more I listened the more it became apparent that I needed to do something that I wouldn’t have thought of doing normally. What came out of this was that I left my job. I couldn’t not leave my job because that wasn’t an option…well it was but then I’d have to live a very uncomfortable life if I had chosen to stay.
In September of 2012, I made a choice, this time a more conscious choice to leave the corporate world and go back to practicing medicine on a part time basis even if it meant a significant pay cut. It was a conscious choice to give myself the time and the opportunity to take a journey within myself, to explore new ventures in writing and art and to see what happened as life unfolded.
It has been a year and 4 months now since that time and I am grateful that I made the choice. It worked for me. I am being given opportunities to write, to discover my ability in creating mandala, to face a lot of my fears, to experience and realize – to live a life of awareness. Does this mean that I’m blazing through life with everything falling into place just as I envisioned it?
No! BUT what it means is that I don’t stumble as often as I used to and when I do stumble it’s because of my fears and my stubborn mind. It means that I’m discovering things even when I do stumble and that it isn’t so much of a hassle anymore but an opportunity. It means that at times things are as it always was but how I see it is different because it’s perceived differently. It means that I take the conscious effort to question myself or a challenging situation when it presents itself. It means that I had to slowly learn to not be too hard on myself when I do slip. It means feeling disappointed, frustrated and at times wanting to just give everything up and go back to that deep slumber and yet taking the time to breathe and to embrace even this as an opportunity to shine. It means giving up on the idea of comparing my “progress” with the next person’s because that just is not possible – at all. There is no comparison and if you have come from a background where that has always been an issue, it’s one of the hardest things to overcome. It can be, because I’m half way up that wall. Sometimes, I slide then I catch myself before I slip right down, because you see…being awakened and going along this journey of choice into awareness IS that.
It IS to catch yourself before you slip back into unconsciousness. It IS to catch yourself by pausing, breathing, reflecting, centering yourself to your truth and getting back into the flow of things from a place that is calmer.
My journey continues and though it is far from “perfect”, it is as perfect as it should be for me…and as it is for each every one of us. No one gets left behind and that is something which can’t be negotiated.
Wow..long post! I’m actually glad that I didn’t get to post anything the last Sunday, there’s always a reason why, huh? 😉
This post is part of Barbara’s (from Me, My Magnificent Self) challenge for the month of January 2014. Each blogger participating have chosen a day to write about their experience of awakening.
Please click the below link to see what the challenge is about in more detail AND please click the links below to read the other wonderful experiences too 🙂
The participating blogs:
6th Julianne – http://juliannevictoria.com
7th Sarah – http://theskycladwriter.wordpress.com
8th Shree – https://heartsongsblog.wordpress.com
9th Dace – http://mywaytotruth.wordpress.com
10th Korinn – http://www.korinn.com
11th Sindy – http://bluebutterfliesandme.wordpress.com
12th Stefanie – http://dancingwithstefanie.com
13th Mick – http://meticulousmick.wordpress.com
14th Joss – http://ccwow.wordpress.com
15th Megan – http://mychroniclifejourney.wordpress.com
16th Pat – http://patinspire.org
17th Marga – http://lifeasimprov.com
18th Kimberley – http://kimberlyharding.wordpress.com
19th Becki – http://isurvivedamurderattackmyfamilydidnt.com
20th Serena – http://beingmefromatoz.com
21st Heather – http://wildflowerwomen.wordpress.com
22nd PurpleRay – http://purplerays.wordpress.com
23rd Sue – http://suedreamwalker.wordpress.com
24th M… – http://seeingm.wordpress.com
25th Brian G – http://middlepane.com
26th Dotta – http://dottaraphels.wordpress.com
27th CW – http://sunflowerrosecw.wordpress.com
28th Laurie – http://lauriesnotes.wordpress.com
29th Debra – http://ptero9.com
30th Linda – http://lindalitebeing.wordpress.com
31th Michael – http://navigator1965.wordpress.com
If you’ve managed to read till the end, thank you!