Letting Go of Co-dependency Continued..
I made changes in my life to support a more balanced state of mind; beginning with finding a new place to live that would be quieter than my apartment on the East Side. The universe gifted me with an apartment in South Austin closer to Barton Springs. I also made the decision to allow my cats, Leo and Aries, to be outside off a leash, to have their freedom. It was initially difficult for me to let go of supervising them while they were outside; I had leash trained them when they were 6 months old and they were now 4 years old. But once I saw how much they loved it, I realized it was the right decision. I continued to read and understand and shift. When Tropical Storm Harvey came through Austin at the end of August a week after the solar eclipse, I felt the foreshadowing of destruction that was to occur. Limiting beliefs needed to be released. The morning of the storm, I turned my phone off and spent 12 hours in silence, journaling and listening to the rain pelt against the windows and the wind blow and rattle my windows. A lot shifted for me that day. I became grateful for many things I had in my life.
In September, I re-branded and launched my new website: Nurturing Vedic Touch, and it continued to evolve until I found my authentic voice. I attended a 5-day Vedic Thai Assisted Yoga training in Florida not long thereafter. There was a lot of awakening, releasing and letting go that came with that. I started to realize I was too dependent on my cats, especially Aries, for comforting when I didn’t want to be with the discomfort. I had a premonition about her disappearing, but squashed it. On October 13th, auspiciously on a Friday, I celebrated my 38th year by hiking Enchanted Rock in solitude. I spent an hour on the summit, reflecting, praying and meditating for help releasing obstacles and limiting beliefs. I later learned that the Enchanted Rock Summit is also a vortex; very powerful indeed.
It was the next afternoon that my cat Aries disappeared. When she didn’t come home at sundown, as was her usual pattern, I was concerned. Leo continued to act normally. It was this experience that helped me realize the special relationship that I had with her was co-dependent on both our parts. She was my strongest ally and a mirror of myself. I had a vision of her being chased away by a coyote. I asked another intuitive friend to confirm this for me because at the time I was attached to the belief that I needed confirmation of my intuition. In early November, part of the guidance I received was to become familiar with The Heroes Journey by Joseph Campbell and wear lapis lazuli. I did both, crafting a necklace from lapis lazuli beads and chanting mantra into it. My throat chakra, the seat of creative expression and self-expression, needed support. For the next 6 weeks, I followed my intuitive guidance as I searched for her and learned to trust the experiences that came forth.
In December, a lot shifted. My grief over losing Aries was starting to fade into acceptance, but I hadn’t given up hope. A couple teenage boys called with a prank that they had seen her 3 weeks earlier dead on the side of the road. It was painful to be contacted in this manner. I became aware that much of my struggle was related to my belief patterns around money and self-worth. Amazing people crossed my path and helped me to shift and let go of these patterns, to embrace trust in a higher power. In mid-December I completed my 3rd Vedic Thai Assisted Yoga training, a 3-day course this time. Much shifted after this training, and about 10-12 days later my core trauma came to the surface in a really dramatic way. I discussed this experience in my post Release and Renewal.
The deepest wound had surfaced, and more letting go and healing was needed. It was necessary to transform and transcend the experience and memory of being sexually abused at a time in my life, 16 months to 3 years old, when I was physically incapable of defending myself. It was hard. I wanted both my cats to be physically present; they had supported me through so much growth along the way beginning 4 months after I began my yoga journey. Those were some of my darkest days, lightened through my japa mala practice and renewed faith in God. I attended my first Kirtan; an event, which involves singing/chanting mantra as a group, accompanied by musical instruments. It was the most divine uplifting experience I’d had in a long time. I had found a place to be supported in my renewed belief and practice. I participated in a 30-day japa mala meditation challenge to maintain my renewed commitment to my practice. It was these practices that helped support the letting go of Aries in mid-January. It was painful to let her go after having raised her since she was 3 months old; she was only 4 when she disappeared.
Now, 6 weeks or so later, I am reminded that it is a process. At the end of January, I lost a piece of sacred spiritual jewelry when my necklace broke. On March 5th, my lapis lazuli necklace, which I made 4 months ago, disappeared while I was swimming; it was indestructible, so I can only wonder where it may be. Then today I heard a kitten cry while at the pet store, and it was so close to Aries’ cry that it made me pause and reflect. All this loss, is it really loss or an external attachment that I need to let go of? What is the lesson here?
When we stop to discern, and self-observe our actions and reactions the truth comes to awareness. Do I truly need a spiritual charm to protect me, when the mantra now exists within me? Do I need a necklace to help me find my creative expression and self-expression now that I’ve become clearer on my purpose and how to serve? And Aries, my soul mirror and biggest ally, do I really need her physical form to be present to know she is with me always? The answer to all these questions, when I feel into my heart space, is a resounding no. All of this exists within me and around me always. I breathe and live the mantra. I am clear on how to serve. I feel Aries with me, just like those who have moved on before her. The challenge is letting go of her adorable face and warm soft fur to snuggle in; it is a journey and I’m getting there.
It is here, a friend gently reminded me, that nurturing my inner child becomes so important and the work continues. I feel loss greatly because of the loss of my innocence as an infant/toddler. Though my rational adult mind understands this, the inner child does not. The work involves embracing those parts of ourselves that are wounded, and tending to them in a way that soothes them while letting go of the belief that we have lost something, a belief that creates attachment.
As it is so eloquently stated by B.K.S. Iyengar in Light on Yoga: “by the observance of aparigraha, the yogi makes his life as simple as possible and trains his mind not to feel the loss or lack of anything. Then everything he really needs will come to him by itself at the proper time” (George Allen & Unwin (Publishers) Ltd, 1976, 35-6). All things return to us at some point, in various ways and forms. There is no end, because the cycle of re-birth continues and is infinite. When we have inner child wounds, we must find a way to nurture and support the inner child to let go, so our adult self is liberated. That is the work.