I am 52. Only in the last few years, it started daunting on me what it actually means to step in my power, to activate my full potential. Because I am practising it, and learning each and every single day.
“To open up to life” is finally starting to have real meaning to me.
How is this possible? Why didn't I got this before?
Let me give you 4 radical changes I have made in my life that jump-started real change, real growth, real self-acceptance. Looking back, I can see now that they represent stages in life, Rites of Passage.
According to Arnold van Gennep, rites of passage have three phases:
Separation, liminality, and incorporation. In the first phase, people withdraw from the group and begin moving from one place or status to another. In the third phase, they reenter society, having completed the rite.
The way you transformed within those phases fit your unique personality. The overall structure as described by Van Gennip might be the same. In Western Society, we often lack a ritualization of these transformations that make them clear for the peer group you are in.
To identify these phases for yourself is important for the understanding of your growth. I hope sharing my rites of passages will help you to recognize and understand yours.
Wise clan elders that accompany you in your journey and growth of self with age-old rituals have been replaced by a spiritual marketplace in our Western modern individualized society. They are replaced by coaches, spiritual teachers, books and YouTube videos.
The spiritual marketplace
The spiritual marketplace sells you yourself
This eBay of the soul is filled with headliners like “How to reach your full potential”, “Life hacks for a better living”, “How to become the real you” and the list goes on. The title of this writing fits in perfectly by the way. I do believe that with practice, focus and dedication, we can change our lives for the better, and that transformation always starts from a shift within.
We, humans, strive constantly to become a better version of ourselves
To reach that mission we don’t mind to invest in our personal development, or at least, many of my friends do. And I can include myself here too.
There is a tricky side to this business of self-development. Here comes the disclaimer!
From all the marketing done on social media, it leaves a taste of being a failure if you don’t step up to your full power and embrace at least an accelerated life. Self-worth, feeling good enough and self-love is at the core of self-acceptance.
Almost everybody struggles with core unworthiness issues deep inside, although the outside might look self-assured, confident and successful.
Don’t make what is sold to you your goal, don’t set that standard as a measure for failure or success. Then you already start your spiritual journey from lack. You are perfect where you are right now!
So I am happy we got that straight.
Retreats, healing sessions, coaching, courses, YouTube videos and books can offer great value when it comes to inner growth, self-realization and becoming more of you. In that vast expanding spiritual industry of self-guru’s, coaches and life-hackers we pick what feels good, what we feel aligned with.
Often we get blinded by the ultimate marketing tool for life changers: the promise of abundance.
When life is abundant, we can be too! And when you are not: Hmm, you must be doing something wrong here. For the last decades, we saw a huge acceleration in the spiritual industry, from “The Secret” to Bentinho Massaro.
The abundance promise has become the holy grail for the big online shopping centers for the soul
My intention is to look beyond this. I am going to speak from my own experience, from life lessons learned. And I am allowed, I am 52, remember?
I moved. packed all my stuff, and I started a new life.
I need challenges in my life. For me, challenge equals expansion. After organizing festivals in Holland for 15 years, the crispy challenge of doing that creative work had turned into a repeating trick. I created a vast network with funds, freelancers and artists. But I let it all go.
It was one of the most courageous decisions in my life. But it was not until later that I found out why.
It is easier to embrace something fresh and new, then to let go of something familiar and safe.
A friend invited me to Ibiza, I stayed for a week and fell in love with the island. After 7 years, I still live here in an incredible location with a dream view.
Changing the house, or even a country can shake up your life in a positive way. Most of the patterns you got used to are being challenged, so you need to re-invent yourself.
What happened was this.
I finally learned how to let go.
Indeed, I had found a new purpose in life, a new challenge, and all I needed to do was let go of the old. It was like riding a huge wave that brought me to the shores of Ibiza, the skin of my new mistress. Reaching out all the way for me to my old world.
It felt effortless at times. The rush of excitement of starting something new, to Bungy Jump into a new future. I loved it.
The trick was to let go. The first years in Ibiza were all about that. I needed to let go of my beautiful apartment in Holland. I had put all my love in there, money and time, to make it my castle since I believed I would be living there for the next 20 years. Life took another turn, Ibiza seduced me and I couldn’t resist her magnetic attraction.
In those first years, my father and sister died. So there was a letting go of family too. Painful times of mourning, and at the same time wonder and focus to built something new on the white island. Not easy at all.
To be able to pick a beach at the end of the day. To meet up with friends in paradise for a picnic and another amazing sunset eased that pain of letting go.
I found out that letting go is an art in itself.
When you let go, you create space for something better
And sometimes you don't even have a clue what that better or new is going to look like. But this is certainly a rule that applies to everybody. To hold on to the past, just out of fear, will hurt more in the long run than the letting go of familiar life, things, a relationship, a place or friends.
What I know now, but what was hidden for me for most of my life is this:
We all have our blind spots
The mirror of a relationship can be the perfect guide to lead yourself to your blind spot. Since you can’t see your own blind spot, makes sense no?
What is your blind spot?
Well, lets take my blind spot as an example. My blind spot was that I didn’t realize that I am semi-autistic. When I was young, I used to live in my own world a lot, protecting myself from the pain of life. I am a dreamer. When being alone, it was always easy to withdraw in myself, to re-align with my energy and to feel safe.
When I got into my last relationship, I started to find out that I withdrew myself, for the same reasons, but without any communication or signs. This was always horrible for my partner that really prioritized connection at all times.
I know this is the classic MEN from Mars and WOMEN from Venus message, that men need space and women heartfelt connection.
For me, this became very real when I started to see my automatic refuge into my own space. This was my blind spot, I had no idea I was doing this until the mirror of my relationship showed me continuously repeating this pattern. This awareness made it possible to let go of it since it was something from the past. It didn’t serve a purpose anymore.
Finding your blind spot is only possible through the help of others. You most likely deny you have a blind spot at all, but everybody does. It is often too painful to look it straight in the eye. In finding and integrating your blind spot lies enormous growth and expansion.
I started to be embodied.
This is the period I am still in, and I wonder if it will ever end. I love it. I am fully discovering my body, my sexuality, my life force and vital energy.
When you spent a lot of your time in a mental space, as I did, the chances are that you get disconnected from your sacred temple: your body. This also can happen to people that ‘get spiritual’ by the way.
Spirituality often goes hand in hand with a gentle touch of the divine. A great experience of consciousness that expands beyond preconceived limits. When we observe this from the perspective of the body and its chakras, it means an opening of the higher chakras. This opening can be established in different ways. Through “spiritual practices” like meditation or yoga for example. Or through the use of plant medicine that expands our consciousness.
Once this channel is opened, a dis-attachment from the body can take place, since the channel to the divine offers us so much bliss and wholeness, that we kind of forget the body. That earthly vehicle with its flaws and clumsiness, and even maybe shame.
Since I discovered conscious embodiment, through HeartIQ for example and some tantric practices, I am starting to appreciate and love my flesh and bones more every single day.
My body, like yours, beholds so much pleasure and I am learning to embrace it fully. Deeper and deeper layers of frozen energy are opened through breathwork.
Here comes the lesson.
Embodiment is a crucial element for full self acceptance and feeling completely at ease and at home in the world, rooted in the ground.
It grounds me, It makes it easy for me to set my boundaries, I can feel others better and I experience way more joy and sometimes exciting high waves of energy that seem to arise directly from activating my sexual energy for example.
And for sure, the body holds so much wisdom.
Did you know we have 3 brains? One in our head, one in our heart, one in our gut. All these centres store experiences, wisdom and information. Only by opening these centres we can feel alive and connected fully.
When we leave the body out, when we mentalize the world around us, we will deeply feel that something is missing, a disconnection with vital life force. But this also allows us not to feel its stored pain.
I took the challenge to come fully back into my body, facing any lighter or heavier trauma on the way. I can recommend this. It’s a path to true freedom and liberation. It reduces illness and gives an ongoing feeling of wellness, groundedness and pleasure just at hug-reach.
The 4 life hacks described here took me close to ten years to achieve. A decade of letting go, moving to another country, experiencing a deep and nurturing relationship and discovering all of my body. I am sure there are quicker life hacks to master but one thing I am sure of:
Real change takes time.
Be patient and gentle with yourself, you are already perfect and amazing.
Lucien Lecarme, November 2019