“I feel like I’m turning a corner” I said to my friend on our coffee date .. realising as I said it that I’d said it before. I was following a new teacher, studying something inspiring, FEELING like I was evolving.
I’d been on a mission to improve my life for years with constant learning and studying .. getting glimmers of hope through the process. And yet, I still seemed to be ‘stuck’. As we chatted, one of us had the thought .. yes, I WAS turning a corner .. because I was going round in circles. My ego had outsmarted me. While my soul was striving for expansion, my ego was helping me FEEL like I was expanding, but I was in my comfortable old pattern of gathering information, with dopamine hits from each spark of insight. This was how I’d always been .. a lover of learning .. my ego was smack bang in it’s happy place.
The battle between the soul and the ego
Your soul desires evolution But your ego wants nothing to change. Your soul desires freedom. Your ego desires safety. Your soul operates on love. Your ego operates on fear.
This is the push-pull of life as a human.
A matter of life or death
So what does it take to expand into our potential? How do we break free of the limitations of our thinking and our past patterns? How do we transcend our everyday reality.
The answer is simple (but not easy). We need to LEAP.
The big leap
The soul’s expansion feels like death to the ego .. a break from the way things have ‘always’ been. But being caught in the web of attachments and patterns created by the ego is like death to the spirit. So .. how do we break free of the clutches of ego, of the old patterns? It takes leaping into the unknown .. listening to the nudges of the spirit .. and TRUSTING that you will be okay .. a ‘leap of faith’.
The hero’s journey
Most book and movie plots revolve around this leap into the unknown and the transformation that comes out of it. Following the spirit’s ‘call to adventure’, the ‘hero’ of the story at first refuses the call (our ego knows it isn’t ‘safe’ and resists). In life that’s often where the story ends and we go back to doing the same old same old. But if we follow the call, and jump into the unknown, now we’re on our ‘hero’s journey’.
My latest leap
Just over two months ago, determined to find clarity, direction and focus in my business ventures, I set a ‘launch’ date, and announced it to my coaching group and on my Instagram feed.
I chose the full moon two months ahead as my date. This made sense since I’ve been using the new moon each month to set intentions and reflect on that month’s progress. I figured two months would give me time to really dive into creating and exploring in order to develop my mould making skills and produce some pieces before I needed to get serious about how to make money.
Enter the free fall
Setting the date was a leap into the unknown with the fear and exhiliration of the free fall but at that point plenty of time before I would ‘hit’ the end. What I’d given myself, and my spirit, was SPACE and PERMISSION.
I set to creating without regard to sale-ability or practicality. Starting with tiny pieces and low risk I built up in size and complexity as the weeks went on. With YouTube as my teacher, Spotify as my inspiration and my credit card as my funder I gave my spirit full rein.
As the deadline drew closer the pressure intensified and my ego which had thrived a lifetime on the identity of ‘not knowing’ was being challenged by the threat of having to ‘make a decision’ .. I felt like an alarm was going off inside me.
The day before my ‘launch’ date was the deadline for entries in a small sculpture prize exhibition. I’d only just (thanks to my deadline) completed a piece that I felt symbolises my ‘message’: Sprite — spirit of play, a maquette for a play sculpture. Inspired by my sculpture buddy’s entering two pieces in the competition I also submitted an actual ‘play sculpture’: Fingerboard Park, in it’s unfinished state.
The process of creating and considering the desired purpose of my work brought the clarity I had hoped for, as I started to consider the saleability of pieces and potential for making a living, in alignment with my top values of curiosity, connection and creativity. Public Play Sculpture had long been my big dream, but now I could see a clearer path to making it happen.
Breaking the circle
The universe is always sending us messages, and on the day of launching a strange thing happened. My nephew had been trying on some rings I’d made the night before, and one became stuck on his finger. The fire and rescue was called in to help and, using a saw and leverage, cut through the ring and opened it. Given the timing and circumstances this felt like more than just a bizarre coincidence.
From my old desire to ‘close circles’ — sealing off circles in handwriting, changing my name from C to O, and constantly needing to understand things — to the feeling of being stuck in a loop .. this broken circle felt significant. One message I take from it is that, by choosing and taking action, I break out of the loop.
When we leap into the unknown we open up space for spirit to enter and support us.
What is your soul calling you to do? Is there something that feel right (but scary)?
Maybe it’s time to leap?
Speak it out loud. Make the commitment .. and then .. JUMP!
We shall not cease from exploration And the end of all our exploring Will be to arrive where we started And know the place for the first time. – T.S.Eliot
Hi and welcome to the Quantum! It’s a place I’ve begun exploring, where anything and everything is possible. How is your 2021 going so far? Have you noticed any shifts?
What is the Quantum?
One of my teacher says “What is, is, all else is quantum”. It’s taken a bit for me to get my head around this, but essentially, the Quantum is everything that doesn’t ‘exist’ (in 3D) right now but exists in the infinite possibilities. Just because something exists in our experienced reality doesn’t negate everything else. It could all be happening side by side. As I see it, stepping in the Quantum is stepping out of limited thinking and into the realms of infinite possibility. In the past this would have felt daunting to me, but right now it’s beginning to feel expansive and exciting.
We shall not cease from exploration
With curiosity as one of my top three values, exploration is an essential part of my existence. And perhaps for that reason, I have tended to be drawn to things I didn’t understand. Confusion was also a natural state for me. But happy to say I am finally shifting from confusion to clarity in multiple areas of my life and, rather than spinning my wheels, I’m finally making progress.
The end of all our exploring
I see life as a spiral process of evolution, where we return to the same lessons but each time with a new level of understanding. In this way the process becomes meaningful and purposeful. Perhaps its that flash of deeper insight that feels so nourishing and makes the travails seem worth it.
Three weeks ago I had a profound experience of this, when I attended a ‘Mould Making and Casting’ workshop as part of Bellingen Shire’s Arts Week.
To arrive where we started
Over the years I have done a lot of ‘model-making’ in all sorts of materials and sizes. But apart from (and perhaps due to) an unsatisfying experience in year 12, I have not used rubber moulds. Now, looking back, it’s like I went ‘off track’ at that point in year 12. I remember the moment .. standing outside my art room at high school and a friend mentioning she had put down architecture as her top preference. I’d never even thought of architecture but it struck me as fascinating. It was the mysterious and esoteric quality of it that drew me in. That was 33 years ago.
At the time I was creating a sculpture out of clay for my HSC art project. I couldn’t fire it because of the wire armature, so I had to create a rubber mould and plaster sleeve in order to cast it in resin. I remember ringing around Sydney to find the ingredients, muddling my way through the process, with little guidance, and ending up with a disappointing result. The sculpture was of a naked female rising in ecstasy and representing the state of enlightenment. I saw it as a maquette for a larger than life size piece. That was my vision.
And know the place for the first time
And so, three weeks ago, in the midst of a lot happening and very little forethought, I went along to the workshop with artist Jim Hood. Jim created a sculpture I fell in love with and purchased three months ago, and it turns out he lives in the same street as me but I’d never met him. I was so blown away by the techniques he shared and the possibilities I could see that my journey suddenly started to make sense. And the workshop space I’d created under my house before I moved up to Fernmount, with my vision of working from home creating sculptures, suddenly started to feel like a possibility.
The end of all our exploring
And so it is that tomorrow I begin a new journey as I start the New Enterprise Incentive Scheme (NEIS) program and begin to put together a business plan for this new iteration of my business.
My plan is to create moulds and replicas of my sculpture pieces, and to offer this as a service to others. And I’ll continue to work towards the first (and subsequent) Cloudscape sculptures.
The peace of clarity
Searching for work I could do that felt inspiring and aligned and that I could do until I die has been a mission of mine for most of my life. And I feel like I have found it. The peace that comes from this ‘no longer searching’ is huge. Finally, the energy I’ve spent searching can be put into creation. I feel as though I can finally relax – and this makes possible so much else in my life. Thank you Universe!!
There’s more I could share about various other journeys I’ve been on lately including Quantum Magic, Money Manifestation Magic, and Lifebook – all three of which have been powerful, mind-blowing and inspiring. But this ‘arrival’ of sorts in terms of my career is the biggest breakthrough by far, so I will leave it at that for now.
How about you? Have you had any big shifts? Is there anything you like to share? I’d love to hear from you.
How do you feel about this year so far? Are you setting any goals or are you simply in for the ride? It looks like being another wild one.
My word for 2021 came out of left field .. GODDESS. It’s a word I’d have felt uncomfortable with in the past but feels perfect for now. GODDESS is a celebration of nature, the divine, connection, creation, cycles, devotion, beauty, power, joy, adoration and wildness.
The joy of creation
This is my year for creation – starting with writing a new story for my life. Most of our lives are repeated patterns, rehashing past beliefs and experiences. But they don’t need to be. We have so much power to create our reality. Science continues to prove this. We can be the author of our destiny .. and this is my intention this year.
You can be the author of your life
I’ve joined a program called Lifebook on the Mindvalley platform in which, over six weeks, you write your vision, beliefs, purpose and strategy for your life. The program breaks your life down into twelve categories and moves through the envisioning process one category at a time, culminating in the twelfth category of Life Vision. So far I’ve looked at Health & Fitness and Intellectual Life and I can see how interconnected the parts are. I’m inspired to take charge of my life, to become aware of blind spots and to be more conscious. And I’m particularly excited about getting clarity on my Life Vision. I’ll keep you posted.
Learning to let go
As I write my story I’m aware one of my strengths, tenacity, has also been debilitating. Hanging on and not letting go has enabled me to push through on things that required endurance (like my two architecture degrees) but also stopped me from letting go at times when that might have served me better.
Where I’m particularly seeing the benefits of holding on less tightly is decision making. Making decisions has felt overly significant to me when I felt I couldn’t change my mind and was stuck with whatever I chose. But as I re-envision my life I’m giving myself permission to change things as I go. I can now see my tenacity as a form of rigidity and fear. I’m shifting instead to flow and trust. Phew.
A Year of Miracles
Finally .. this year, I’m reading the daily prompts for the 365 day ‘Course in Miracles’ – a process of shifting your perceptions. I started off with reading a simplified adaptation with a book by one of my teachers who published ‘leave this book in your bathroom’ last December. Then yesterday I felt compelled to look at the original text as well to compare. I’ll let you know how it goes .. next year if not before. Have you read (or heard of) A Course in Miracles?
How about you?
Where are you at? What are your thoughts or plans? I’d love to hear whatever you’d like to share.
Wishing you miracles, creativity and goddess energy for an amazing and successful year in 2021.
With love, Orly
PS I’ve now done three weeks of #apoemaday on Instagram. Check it out HERE.
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If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion. – Dalai Lama
Last day of 2020. Wow.
I’ve had so many things I’ve wanted to talk about my brain has felt like exploding .. but I’m going to keep it simple and focus on one concept – the drama triangle – and how understanding and becoming a compassionate witness to this dynamic allows for more presence, love, acceptance and happiness in your life.
Let’s start with a story
So, today I got ‘rescued’ by a surf lifesaver at Valla beach. A playful way I like to push my limits is in the surf, where I love to swim out into the deep, taking calculated risks and trusting my survival instincts. Wild nature is something I love and the sea is one of my favourite and easiest ways to access it.
I’d decided to celebrate the end of 2020 with a cafe breakfast with Joey and a swim in the ocean. When we arrived at the beach I was surprised to see, for the first time, the surf lifesavers had set up with flags. This tends to be a minus rather than a plus for me as I feel obliged to swim between the flags and I’m conscious of being watched which for me detracts from the experience.
I swam way out deep to frolic in the choppy surf and big waves, and was still enjoying myself when I turned to find a surf lifesaver on a board behind me. He asked if I was okay which I said I was. But now, with him there, I figured my fun was over and I should go back to shore. He hung there as I started to swim back. Except now I felt under pressure and under surveillance. I did a burst of swimming only to look up and find I’d been swept in the opposite direction. With time I’d have found my way back, but given the situation I decided to accept the ride.
There was no drama and it ended up as a nice connection. I got a surf back to shore with this young, super nice, spunky gay body builder. I even felt like I made a friend. I also chose to see it as a positive sign of moving towards my desires – sexy male surfer – bring it on!
But I could just as easily have stepped into a victim role and felt ashamed, oppressed, judged and defensive, in other words stepped into the ‘drama triangle’ and experienced this beautiful connection as a shameful and unpleasant experience.
The conflict inherent in ‘rescuing’
This story fits in with what I want to talk about because it involves a Rescuer .. which in turn often implies there is a Victim.
I said that I was going to talk about love, and how to experience more love (including self love). So I’ll start with what love is not .. and this might sound controversial. Love is not rescuing another person. In fact, rescuing can be seen as an act of conflict.
The Drama Triangle
The Drama Triangle is a dynamic model of social interaction and conflict that consists of three roles: the Victim, the Rescuer and the Judge (or Persecutor). When we are operating in this dynamic, love is not present.
We tend to play these roles unconsciously, falling into, and drawing other people into the unhealthy dynamic. We also play this conflict out in our heads, moving between victim, rescuer and judge, taking us out of the present and into a destructive mental battlefield.
The Drama Triangle is a trap that every human falls into at times. We all have a role that we gravitate towards, but we rarely stay fixed in that role.
What is so great about understanding this dynamic is that once we see it and are conscious of it, we can choose to step out of it. When we get caught in this ‘trap’ we are perpetuating a dysfunctional social dynamic while missing out on healthy relationships. This includes our relationship with ourself.
As we become the Witness to this dynamic, we are able to choose an empowered rather than disempowered perspective.
Following is an overview of the three ‘positions’. We take on all three parts, but we will tend towards one as a starting point.
The Victim asks, Why is this happening to me?
Sees themself as oppressed, powerless, helpless, hopeless and ashamed. The Victim is convinced they can’t take care of themself.
The Victim feels they don’t have the power to change their circumstances and thus denies responsibility for their life.
They have a real difficulty making decisions, solving problems, finding pleasure and recognising their self perpetuating behaviours.
The Victim is looking for an external saviour and anyone who fails to do so becomes a persecutor (judge) – including the self.
The Rescuer rushes to the scene with a soothing voice ready to help. But the Rescuer needs a victim. The Rescuer works hard to help others (while neglecting their own needs) in order to feel good about themselves. Over time though, the Rescuer becomes tired, burnout and resentful. But they feel guilty when they’re not ‘helping’, and so the pattern continues.
Also, when the Victim is ‘rescued’ they feel disempowered and helpless, so the Rescuer efforts are often met with anger and resentment.
The Judge sits back observing the scene, directing blame and punishment – ‘it’s your fault’, ‘you deserve it’.
This ‘part’ is self righteous, and a bit of a bully. The Judge (or Persecuter) blames and criticises the Victim, keeping them oppressed through blame, shame, threats and bullying. They refuse vulnerability out of fear of being a Victim and in doing so give up their ‘humanity’.
How each role is rewarded
Every role has it’s own reward.
The Victim gets taken care of. They believe they are blameless.
The Rescuer gets to feel good. They believe they are doing a good thing by helping.
The Judge gets to feel superior. They believe it’s a hostile universe and life is out to get you.
Healing the Victim
The Victim is really just any wounded inner child ever. We don’t ‘fix’ it. Pain and suffering is not something we fix. And we don’t judge it either. We hold space for it. We accept whatever happened, and how it has affected us. And we stop holding on to ‘stories’ so we can move forward.
Evolve or repeat. Those are your options.
You are in a trap. To get out you need to stop playing the game and instead, to witness it with compassion and curiosity.
Stepping out of the triangle
The triangle must have all three parts to exist.
When you step out of the triangle, you allow for a healthier, more loving dynamic to exist. You are no longer participating in the game. You become a compassionate Witness and in this way the Victim, or wounded inner child, is able to heal.
In my defencelessness my safety lies. – A Course in Miracles
When you give up identifying as a Victim, a Rescuer or a Judge, you can let go of your defences and simply observe with mindful, neutral awareness.
Defence is the first act of war.
Becoming the Witness
Instead of participating in the drama triangle, you can step out of it and witness it with compassion and curiosity.
You can be a compassionate Witness – accepting, defenceless and simply observing. You’re not trying to change, fix or judge anything. You see every option. You are curious and honest. Every attack is seen as a cry for love and love (acceptance) is the response.
You are responsible for yourself and rather than look for a saviour, you look within. You challenge your ingrained beliefs and everything you know to be true. You own your feelings, thoughts and reactions. You are helpful and supportive and act without expectation.
As a Witness you empower with faith and trust and allow for things to transform.
From a space of compassion:
The Victim becomes the Author The Rescuer becomes the Restorer The Judge becomes the Teacher
Take back your life
One of our greatest strengths is taking responsibility for ourselves. As you step out of the Drama Triangle, you break a destructive cycle. You are able to be in the moment rather than in your head. You can be the creator of your life.
And with that, I wish you a super happy and successful year in 2021!
See you on the other side.
PS On December 22 I started #apoemaday practice on Instagram – inspired by an interview with Mary Oliver. Today is Day 10 and though I haven’t set a goal, I’ll be carrying this practice into 2021. It’s scary, imperfect and vulnerable .. but it’s also fun, inspiring and challenging. You can check it out HERE.
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PPPPS With more time I’d have made this email much clearer and more succinct. But right now, action trumps perfection. Thanks for reading!
Falling in love with oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance. – Oscar Wilde
Less than two weeks until the end of a momentous 2020 year. It’s been a year of shake up on many levels. Even tonight, as I prepare to drive to Sydney tomorrow morning, there is a threat of lockdown and changed plans. It’s been a rollercoaster of a year, and perhaps more specifically for me, an emotional rollercoaster .. which I see as a good thing since it’s a lot better than a flatline. And I’ve been practicing being present to feelings and present to ‘life’.
A time of change
Today is the solstice and again a time of change. There is a lot of talk this year about a big cosmic event happening today as well with planets and stars aligning and predictions that these changes represent a shift from the patriarchy back to the matriarchy. Regardless where you sit in relation to such prophecies, I’m staying open and hopeful about it. Change feels like a good thing to me.
It’s easy to say change feels good when life feels all topsy turvy already. Anyway, one change I’ve started implementing is getting in touch with my ‘inner child’.
A Little One (LO) has joined me on my journey (see photo above) and she is much bolder, more definite and more confident than me so I’m letting her lead the way. She’s in charge and I’m simply helping her. But she’s only three so .. don’t expect perfection :). I’ll pass over to her.
Hello people, How are you going. Mum and I are building a sculpture and the opening date is 211112 .. the 12th of November next year. She’s building it for me because she knows how much I will love it. i know she has lots of grown up reasons for building it too but mostly it’s for us little ones .. the little one that lives in everyone.
Embracing the nonsensical
OM here again. This is probably nonsensical for some of you. That’s fine. Unsubscribe is below if it bothers you. I did a whole lot of explorations since our last email that I was going to share .. but it took me down pretty low into a state of self (and other) judgement and was very much coming from my adult self .. and right now I’m more interested in listening to my child self. It’s her time now. Feel free to ask her any questions. You might get a nonsensical answer, but sometimes life is too serious and a nonsensical answer is the best.
Oh .. and we’re going to make a picture book together too. Filled with plenty of nonsense.
Time for Presence
And now, in this Christmas time which has been, for me, destroyed by an overemphasis on presents (and lack of presence) .. I wish you an abundance of presence and connection.
Until next time.. With love,
LO+OM xx Weaving a new future together :)
PS The day after sending my last email, where I discussed a deep-rooted belief that ‘I have to be selfless and self-denying’, a new video by Teal Swan came out on Enmeshment Trauma and how to heal it. I think most people have this to some degree as we adapt to fit into society or family. I recommend the video and would love to hear any thoughts you have about it.
PPS You can sign up to get these emails in your inbox here.
This blog is part of my journey. It represents a shift for me toward expressing myself publicly and engaging with the world. I want others to know that they are not alone and to open up opportunities for connection.
I’m Orly Grace, writer, designer, creator .. exploring human existence in a search for meaning and purpose.