Some of My Greatest Life Challenges I Overcame
Since the collective field of experience is currently one of intense transition, which may include both challenges and liberating experiences from moving through those challenges, I felt I would reshare about some of my greatest challenges in life.
If you missed Annabel Ruffell’s interview with me: Written Interview with Tania Marie you may not have read my answer to her question, “What has been one of your greatest challenges over the years, either with the work that you do or in another area of your life, and how did you overcome it?”
When I looked back through my life to answer this question, I saw the many really rough paths I went down and all the colored and intense choices I made. So I likely could have shared a long list of challenges along with an entertaining tell-all, lol, but I felt to focus on the ones that enveloped a large umbrella of experiences for me and that had big impact on my life, then and now.
So today, as I was tuning in, it came to me to elaborate a bit on my answer I gave for the interview (including the answer itself and some additional insights) since I had to keep things condensed for that piece.
I feel that people often don’t think that others go through challenges, who seem to have things together now. I know that people can’t believe it when I share in workshops some of what I’ve been through in my life and some of the experiences I have under my belt.
We all go through our own personal “stuff”, but ultimately it’s only in how that individually translates into personal experience that is different, as the underlying challenges are shared by many. And if it wasn’t a challenge in this life for you, it may have been in a previous. 😉
So it is very untrue to think that you are all alone in experiencing challenges, as the reason things get to a more balanced place for some people is due to having embraced the full journey of the challenges and learning a process of how to shift that into a new and more freeing experience. And as they do this, this ability becomes available more readily to others since we are all connected.
This journey of learning new processes and consistently and constantly keeping check on yourself to work with the energies, delve deeper when needed, and utilize what you’ve learned about yourself to rebalance when you get “off”, is a continual life experience. It just gets easier and more fun because you learn the magickal little tricks to transmute things.
Anyway, I’d like to share a little more of my answer to the questions about these three particular challenges in my life to reiterate how we all go through this and no matter where I might stand now, I can tell you from the depths of my heart, I didn’t know if I’d physically, let alone mentally or emotionally, make it to this point. But, having gone through the darkest hours, I know anything is possible and although I laugh now at things, it was far from laughable then.
Since this isn’t a book, I won’t go into details on everything or how these challenges, or others, translated into specific experiences, but I just wanted to bring this realization of the ability we have to move through the intense times in our lives by resharing this.
Yes, no matter how “bad”, “heavy”, or “thick” your experience feels, you DO have the ability to move through it and experience greater freedom and lightness. Shifting your perspective on the challenge can do you a world of support, as I promise you the alchemy lies within your recognition of the gift within each and every experience you come to judge. There is a latent beauty awaiting your acknowledgment.
The challenges are what make the journey so enriching and the present so dear and deserving of gratitude.
So here is my expanded answer to the question, “What has been one of your greatest challenges over the years, either with the work that you do or in another area of your life, and how did you overcome it?”
It is challenging to pick just one, as a few come to mind – vulnerability, creating boundaries, and voicing my truth (fear of speaking). And yet they are all tied together I feel.
The boundless nature that created overburdened and confusing experiences made it tough to hear the voice within, let alone to express it openly to others, or even be able to say an empowered “yes” or “no”, as personal discernment was clouded.
The learned fear of appearing weak and affected by things emotionally (which was confused also by over-stimulation I hid from in order to survive the incredibly taxing emotional drain) created a need for a mask and worry about someone discovering my truth.
The fear of speaking resulted in a learned behavior from things around me (as well as was soul “history” connected) that made me think/believe that when someone voiced truth they were punished, denied, quieted, dismissed, or ridiculed. Hence, the fears I carried for a long time.
I remember being free of all of these when I was a very young child. I had no qualms about expressing myself in front of others in any creatively expressive way. Be it singing, dancing, performing, sharing about something I loved, make-believe…I was also very in touch with my feelings and bringing that through me expressively. I didn’t need a sense of boundaries, as I was simply being me naturally as Source expression.
I’ve always believed that when we choose to embody into a human vehicle of expression, the denser experience of this reality both offers us the gifts we chose to come in to be able to experience, as well as the perfect challenges that will provide the evolutionary journey of free will to unravel. The development of fears, suppression of truth and creative self-expression, denial of free will, and illusionary veils, all cloud those seeded impulses. I remember as a very young child, between birth and 5 years of age, embodying the expression of my soul clearly – I believe we all in some way demonstrate this from onset.
The elements that I now embrace and channel as my joy and service in one, weave the very same essences I had demonstrated then.
However, as creative beings we are unlimited in the ways we can choose to bring forth these expressions and, in effect, unlimited in how we will travel the journey in order to do so. And what I find is that the more we open to ourselves and dig deep into the well of shadows and fears, the more our creativity and heart expand, as well as our latent gifts become integrated and actualized.
Yet, this all rapidly, almost overnight, shifted after the age of 5. I remember hiding my emotions and creating a tough outer shell, but then cowering in a dark corner on my own, or in the shower to cry. I felt the need to appear strong and somehow correlated feeling-expression, especially crying, with being weak. So, I never showed it.
The irony was that in fact I felt SO VERY deeply, and these feelings that I would not express outwardly, wreaked havoc inwardly causing not only physical issues, but outer triggers. Hence, they were reflected in every relationship I experienced where I could have these suppressed feelings triggered into conscious awareness. And they were worked out in very heavy and tormenting dream time as well.
Much, much later I came to see how that suppression of emotional expression had been cultivated in me, accepted into my experience by seeing examples around me, as well as became the only way I knew how to protect the very vulnerable beauty that would ultimately liberate me later. Yet, in the meantime I grew out of my natural expression and built a tough outer skin to my heart.
I also became very confused as to what was me and what wasn’t, as being a Pisces we don’t know boundaries. This hadn’t been a problem when a child because my natural essence was speaking clearly. However, life throws us a lot of loud noises that soon may start to overshadow our truth if we don’t have the support to keep cultivating authenticity, don’t have examples of it around us, and simply don’t understand enough yet. And being intuitively sensitive, it was as if I was an emotional and psychic sponge, not only accumulating everyone else’s feelings (both expressed and unexpressed), but their thoughts and beliefs as well. I literally had no idea anymore of who “I” was and what were “my” thoughts.
You can imagine how overbearing this might one day become and indeed it did – to the point of causing a tormented war inside of my head of voices and confusion that likely would have seen me in a psychiatric ward or on prescription drugs, if I hadn’t had the ability to creatively manage it and the willingness to accept every part of experiencing it in full so that I could come to understand myself and my uniqueness.
I faced feeling EVERYTHING without the mask of alcohol, drugs, or any mind-altering substances. I just knew the way through it for me, was to FEEL it ALL and come to realize the natural process of how to move the energy on my own. And this remains my process and my personal choices to not utilize anything to take me outside of myself.
And I went through this for years, which seemed never-ending. The processes available now are much quicker and efficient because of the willingness, determination, and commitment I rekindled each time I came to my point of complete destruction and surrender.
We all have the potential and ability now to move through things in accelerated fashion, to mirror accelerated times, and to reflect the work a collective has invested in commitment to this process.
I remember friends in high school who said to me, “I wish I could be you for just one day”. And those words struck a deep chord in me bringing my reply to them, “Don’t ever wish to walk in someone else’s shoes, as you have no idea what they are really experiencing”.
And I believe that this, along with my own desire to be more natural and authentic, has driven me to live consistently and transparently from the inside out, without the masks and without illusions. “Walking the walk” is so important to me and to truly be “living” the reality of my experience to the best of my ability in each moment and in all ways.
In the meantime, back to the challenges I faced, I also learned a fear of speaking my truth or sharing that openly with others, as well as feared making a mistake in front of others, feeling what I said had to be some idea of “perfect,” what ever that meant.
And the greatest feat of all was that I was able to hide it (and everything really) from everyone.
I used to try to hide the fullness of my unique expression and the magickal side of me, although in some ways it just seeped out nonetheless. But now, I am no longer afraid of the light and power within, nor to express my truth of how that channels through me. But I also take great care in exercising responsibility and discernment.
So, regardless of being petrified to the core of giving a speech, being called upon in class, standing out, or even talking in front of a small group of people I knew, you wouldn’t have known it because I learned how to perform in the moment of need, or to create my way out of things, since I did still have those latent abilities.
It was not an easy task, as it took everything in me to do so, but it also took a lot to undo these.
Yet it wasn’t natural, and natural is what I strive for.
I have always had a very committed soul sense of knowing I had something here I was to do, even if I didn’t connect yet with what that was. And although I meandered along my path in varying directions, it was this inner knowing and commitment in me, that was ready to go to all lengths to integrate the why’s of my tormented experience.
The process to move the energy of these challenges was a conscious commitment, from early on (in high school), to a personal growth mission focused on becoming more natural. This involved a lot of courage and tears, very painful challenges, a willingness to keep experiencing the results of choices out loud to those around me that could judge and did, a lot of personal work and willingness to stand on my own, raw honesty and deep introspection, integrating reflections, and constant belief and trust in what I knew was possible.
The vulnerability came much more easily, as the more I opened to a deeper sense of life and spirituality, the more my experience of life became the type of beauty that could not be contained because the purity of the natural pierced and burned through the veils.
The boundaries took a bit longer because of the personal discernment and empowerment needed to listen through the “noise” for my voice AND due to the teachings, one discovers on a spiritual journey, that Oneness is the focus. So, I remembered that this is simply something to reawaken and integrate into conscious daily actions, but without losing my unique individuation. I believe we came here to experience through the personal expressions of creative energy that are unique to us each. Otherwise, we would not need different human bodies. So to honor that unique human temple that we each are and understand ourselves within the framework of Oneness, so that we can fully learn and experience the particular expression and mission we each chose this time around, is important.
As for the fear of speaking, I came to believe that our greatest fear is simultaneously our greatest gift when integrated. So being that I teach, one would not think this to have been a fear, or that I don’t constantly challenge myself to even bigger things within this realm. Yet, it was.
The way through it, was to “go through it”, allowing the vulnerability to work itself out through action. No amount of “to yourself” time engaged in personal work will really prepare you in the way that actually doing something will, although provides the basis for integration. I spent years on personal work, but it was in the actual “doing” that I made the huge leaps in shifting my challenges.
And taking it in small steps is perfectly fine, not to mention, will move the energy. I find that the hardest part of change is the first step. The rest after that becomes easier.
So, on my own terms, in the step that felt acceptable yet still challenging enough, was how I began. And what I discovered is that when I just said yes, without the need to know how, the way was experienced. I was shown the importance of self acceptance and the value of what I had to impart as a unique being, without judgment or comparison. This would speak for itself in allowing remembrance to be my guide.
The Universe supported me by also making sure I would do it without my programmed, old ways I used to do things when I had the fear and was forced to speak. Rather than allow me time to prepare, memorize, force-feed achievement-needs and performance expectations, I was meant to trust in the simplicity of acceptance of self and the value of what I had to impart as a unique being. Trust in knowing I had what I needed, I’d be guided in the moment, and since I’m speaking about the things I love, align with my truth, and have spent my life devoted to and believe in, the passion of that truth will speak for itself.
I only ask before each time I speak, that I have the perfect words in the moment. Then I breathe and relax into the presence of the moment with all of my senses, and allow what wants to come forth to move through me – focusing only on the moment and not worrying about what comes next. By narrowing my experience to the fullness of the now, rather than expanding outward and forward to try and foresee or control something coming, I am able to relax into full and peaceful presence.
I also am known to speak while holding a specially chosen crystal friend in my hand, which is my creative way to energetically support me to authentically access what is needed with clarity of heart and mind connection.
The rest is the beautiful process of the journey and continually I get to learn in each moment how to take things to the next level, by embracing the next challenge.
I have found that the commitment to being in the role of someone who imparts personal authenticity of experience and perspective to others, is a commitment to vulnerably speaking my processes out loud, realizing the individual expression that I am, and embracing being okay with learning in the moment, in front of others – vulnerability, creating boundaries, and voicing personal truth.
This has been the most enriching way to move the energy of the fear through me by coming to learn who I am more naturally, without all of the “noise”, and to support greater flow of that expression to freely move through.
You can read the full interview, along with my answers about the journey that I am on, how creativity enhances your life, how to transform limiting beliefs and fears, and my visions for humanity and the Earth here: