Who am I without authority?

“What comes after ambition?” This is the question I held in my fields last year when I started feeling myself being purged of ambition. The answers I got and continue to get are multi-layered, but divesting myself of authority is one of the more recent developments. Who am I without ambition? Who am I without authority? It is a strange, sometimes uncomfortable, but very rich place to be right now, as out of step as it may seem with the common wisdom.

Many people in spiritual circles have been coming forward in these times proclaiming, “Now is the time to step into your power and be seen and heard. Now is the time to shine your light and help others find their way.” Well, for me it has been the exact opposite. As lockdown wears on I have been finding myself more and more reluctant to do the type of spiritual work I‘ve been engaged in these last few years. I am increasingly picky about the sort of clients I take on and the kind of work I agree to participate in. I’d rather point people toward blog posts where they can find answers they are looking for and walk themselves through their own processes instead of hiring me to do the work for them.

Anything I can do, you can learn to do. Any wisdom I’ve come to will come your way in your time because nothing I say hasn’t been said before, in some fashion. I truly do mean it when I say I’d like to put myself out of business. I encourage you to do the work for yourself—a) because you can, and b) because it is more empowering for you to do so. I want none of your power and no authority over you—not as your “teacher,” not as your “healer.” I wish to relate to everyone in radical equality, which is the natural order of things. My job is simply to awaken you to your Brilliant System. You have everything you need to self-heal and create because you are of the Wholeness.

As my work has matured I‘ve found myself stepping more and more out of the way, and more fully into divine partnership. In the beginning this simply meant embodying Beginner’s Mind—being okay with not knowing precisely so I could receive guidance and channel answers for clients without any preconceptions or judgments. This was vexing for a recovering academic such as myself, brought up in an environment where knowledge was the currency to be stockpiled and put on impressive display. “See how much I know! Let me explain all the things to you!” It was alternately a mask and defensive wall behind which I hid.

I’ve come a long way. If you book a session with me I will instruct you not to share your questions or anything about your situation beforehand so I can show up as fresh as possible. I learned to trust that answers come in their own time, and not always in the form we’re expecting. In fact, I do some of my most potent work in total silence. Across the silence you will experience your purest vibration, and so gain a knowing of who you are when nothing stands in your way.

This sort of work nourished my soul up until this spring when I found myself increasingly called to my garden. From the start I had the feeling that lockdown was a sacred time for deep discovery and transformation. Most of us were forced to slow down, stay home, and given ample time to reflect with almost no possibility for planning or controlling—the ego’s favorite pastimes.

Sitting in uncertainty is a skill. If we can find our center, hold that energy steady, and abide in our deepest wisdom, clarity does come, bringing with it the joy of discovery. This is what it means to surrender to your flow and partner with life: It is to trust in your connection to the web of creation, which is your natural intelligence, and has nothing to do with how clever or talented you think you are or aren’t.

You don’t know half the story. You truly have no idea. To know this in your bones is at once humbling and awe-inspiring. You will revel in how much you don’t know. This is the measure of how much room you are willing to leave for life (God, Universe, Spirit, Divine Intelligence) to meet you in this sacred dance. This is the measure of how much you trust your Self and your ability to know what is and isn’t right for you, even if you haven’t the faintest clue of the why and wherefore. This is the measure of your integrity, which has nothing to do with ethics or morality, but is the unwillingness to keep feeding the false self.

It is an entirely different way of being than most of us are used to, being trained as we are always to plan and do and strive to become more. “Achieve your highest potential! Help others! Expand your reach! Make a difference! Change the world!” How exhausting. …How about taking a breath? And I mean really T A K I N G A B R E A T H and coming home to the fullness of yourself. How about opening to the magic and the abundance and the love that abounds?

Be forewarned that the more you become yourself, the more likely you will confound people (and you may be one of them), especially if they like to put things in neat little boxes. I’ve had so many conversations this spring with friends wishing to catch up, and when I tell them what I’m up to, many of them—even those consciously walking their paths—press me for more, as if following one’s flow weren’t enough. It is more than enough. It is utterly fulfilling.

Even the not knowing is fulfilling because it is the encounter with the mystery that births mastery. I’ve spent most of this spring kind of bemused by how urgent my call to gardening has been, but it’s been delightful every step of the way. Discovering my true relationship to the garden has been a gradual process, and recently a big piece of the puzzle fell into place and it is FREAKING EXCITING to me. Stay tuned if you’re curious!

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