For a long time, dread was a constant part of my life. It wasn’t until I broke it off with dread that I realized I had spent a good 20 years or so quietly accepting that dread was just this thing I Iived alongside. The thing is, I didn’t know it was dread.
In my life dread wore many masks. The most fabulous being the one of achievement. Pushing through, forcing, always telling myself, “just get through this part.” I was constantly pushing through and pushing through fast. To get to the end when I can do or have or say or experience THIS thing that is better. It all looked like achievement. And felt like achievement. But I know now it wasn’t. Finishing my clinical hours in under 2 years. Taking my psychotherapy licensing exam as soon as possible. Opening up a private practice. Doing all the academic things. The boards, the consultation groups, the incessant march forward. There was always a hint of dread of what was next or what else I would have to push through to be at a place where I felt at ease. I thought it was accomplishment, but I think I kept on trying to achieve things in the hopes that whatever next level I reached would feel different. But it never did. Dread was trying to tell me that I just didn’t like where I was. And maybe where I was headed.
No matter the endeavor, there always seemed to be a looming sense of dread. When I was running Zelma Rose, all success came with a dose of dread. If I was featured in an editorial, or was shared via an influencer the celebration was always interrupted by a sense of dread. How many hours was this work going to take me? Would I have enough people to carry out the orders? What if I cannot get the components I need in time? What if it’s crickets and nothing happens as a result? These are all questions that small business owners ask themselves, it's part of running the show, but for me, these questions were always veiled in dread, worry, and exhaustion. Never in excitement or expansion. And this is a very important distinction. One can be exhausted and worried and also excited and feeling expansive. Or one can feel these things void of any sense of joy.
And I lived and worked this way like forever. Loving what I did, but also feeling that I wanted to rush through a part to get to some imagined other side. Where dread didn’t exist. And sure, sometimes dread is unavoidable. But it’s really important to ask the question, how unavoidable is it?
I can tell you now what it's like to work without dread. Surprisingly life feels less absent of dread and more filled with excitement and expansion. As I grow my business thoughts pertaining to how I might handle growth are met with expansion. I feel excited about reaching the point when I have more than I can handle. There is not a shrinking away from the idea of growth, but an embracing of it. And yes, I’ve put systems in place to run my business like I’m last minute getting on a plane to the Maldives (something I help all my clients do) but again, growth feels like something I want to step into, instead of avoid. And that embrace is what the absence of dread feels like.
Since breaking up with dread, it has become a pretty great teacher. Think cool slutty daddy Pedro Pascal type vibe. LOL. I use dread as a tool to measure where I take my business and decisions I make regarding pretty much everything. If dread creeps in I ask myself a series of questions to better understand if the dread is temporary, or if it is sustained. I play with it and see what yields. When it’s temporary, I do the thing, take the action, do what needs to be done to get my taxes squared away, paperwork finished, etc. and move on. I use it and then lose it. When dread is sustained, I take notice. Make a change. Even if only a small one can be made in the moment, I put my energy behind that shift. And the dread suddenly becomes more of a facilitator than a saboteur. This is the way. Wink, wink.
The good news and the bad news is that working for yourself or doing something you love for a living doesn’t protect you from dread. Work of any kind for anyone can become dreadful. But work in and of itself shouldn’t be. My friend Emily and I have spent years talking about the idea that you cannot cut the line of experience. Shit, we both wish one could. But many things in life you just need to go through and come out the other side in order to know how it feels. To integrate and receive a deep knowing in your bones about the next step. Often this next step is knowing what you do not want. This arrives more clear than knowing what you do want. And that’s where I think dread can be a real ally. Making us aware of what we do not want. Then teasing us to take the challenge and change even if it’s scary, especially if it’s scary, in the cool slutty daddy way only dread can do.
FULL MOON in GATE 64
Full moon energy invites the exploration of what needs release and what no longer serves you in the interest of staying aligned with your intentions. This full moon invites you to contemplate your internal and external worlds as facilitators of your creativity and imagination. Now is the time to practice receiving big ideas and being curious about what limiting beliefs might get in the way of your imagination and dreams toward the beautiful potential of yourself and the collective. You are allowed to imagine the most wild, abundant and lush world for yourself. Being curious about what gets in the way of that vision begins by turning toward your fears. This full moon offers a beautiful time to get curious about what might get in the way of you being in receivership of the most radical abundance.
Journaling Prompts for this Full Moon:
- How can I allow myself to dream as big as I possibly can?
- What gets in the way of seeing the world as limitless?
- How can I learn to trust that I do not need to know how to get there, only to have the vision?
- What fear stops me from wanting what I want?
On March 8, the sun transits GATE 22, the GATE of SURRENDER.
GATE 22 tasks you with the opportunity to contemplate the trust and faith you have in the support for your desires and greatest passions. This transit is really about your level of trust in timing, patience, and that your desires will be provided. GATE 22 encourages exploration into how you can live more in receivership and trust that slowing down the hustle and not forcing will actually create in an easier fulfillment of your desires. Do you trust that the universe will provide support for your goals and vision? Can you SURRENDER to not being in out put mode all the time and learn to wait and receive? Do you value yourself deeply enough to have faith that things will unfold naturally without chasing after it?
Journaling Prompts for this week:
1. What practices allow me to cultivate trust?
2. How can I practice letting go?
3. What environments and people help me trust in the process?
4. What needs to be healed and brought into alignment for me to deepen my trust?
Have a great week exploring this transit! Let me know what came up for you! Comment below to share your thoughts.
This song. If you know, you know. George Michael had the voice of an angel and I truly miss him being out there in the world. I wonder what gifts of music he would be sharing with us now. Where his voice would lead him. And us.
The song Freedom vibrated my entire body the first time I heard it. I mean EVERYTHING about the song is just gold. It works on so many levels and when I hear it now, jammed into my million song shuffle on my phone it sounds just as new and just as potent as it did in 1990. It's a great fucking song, a million years ago and a million years from now. And then there's the video. OMG the women. Linda in the turtleneck, Naomi in the headphones, Christy in the bedsheet, Cindy in the bathtub, Tatjana in the hallway. Maybe the most 90's thing of the 90's.
I hope you enjoy it too. Hit listen to get a taste.
I won't let you down
I will not give you up
Gotta have some faith in the sound
It's the one good thing that I've got
I won't let you down
So please don't give me up
'Cause I would really, really
Love to stick around, oh yeah
I was just a young boy
Didn't know what
I wanted to be
Didn't know whatI wanted to be
I was every little hungry
Schoolgirl's pride and joy
And I guess it was enough for me
To win the race?
A prettier face!
Brand new clothes and
A big fat place
On your rock and roll TV
But today the way
I play the game is not the same
Think I'm gonna get myself happy…