The mini-Rally yesterday with Simone was: awesome. Hard. Enlightening. Surprising! Full of learnings. Here’s a little peek into my practice and where it brought me — because there have been some big, important shifts, both external and internal.
Making my self & my space ready
As you read about here, there were preparations in advance. A love letter to the qualities. Saying hello to the door. I also wrote a letter to myself, to be opened in case of mid-Rally stuckness. All these were important: I spent time in delightful anticipation and excitement.
I also arranged to have an empty house to myself. I dressed in absurdly comfortable clothing. Invoking: permission, safety, freedom, spaciousness.
I built a blanket fort, of course.
And I gathered together the other important tools: Shiva Nata level guides from the Secret Lab, the Monster Manual in case of emergency, a box of art supplies, three separate books in which to write or draw.
And I did one more kooky thing, which turned out to be key: I used a long turquoise sari to mark a big boundary around my fort. I decided that inside the space everything was safe and clear; all the mess of the house was outside the circle, and I didn’t have to worry about it or even look at it. If I needed to step outside the space, I would notice the boundary and consciously think I’m exiting the Rally circle and the same thing happened when I would cross back inside. Inside lived the magic. The turquoise boundary protected me. And it was spacious — big enough to hold the blanket fort and a space for me to stretch out and do Shiva Nata, too.
Simone and I checked in. I told her that my secret power and theme was: alignment! (Similar to the congruence that Havi has been writing about lately, but with additional qualities of attuning and guidance, somehow.) And then I turned off my phone and dove in.
Descent into the maelstrom
I could say here’s where I went a bit nuts but let me rephrase that in a more sovereign way: one of the things I learned at the mini-Rally was how difficult I find it to make Shiva Nata hard (because that’s where the most learning takes place) without making it scary-hard.
Because wow, I got scrambled. I giggled as I read from the level guide, shouting out the numbers to Level 7 (yup) while my arms whirled as fast as I could go, and kept going past the point of normal-confused-flailing right into sheer insanity. And then I found myself face-down on the floor, grinning into the carpet.
Here’s where I would have thought Uh oh, if I’d been coherent.
Instead, I sat down, opened up my notebooks, and panicked.
My head was empty. My soul was empty. I tried to tune into my project and came up with a head full of static.
I wrote a little — I was too shaky still. I doodled a rainbow just to look at something colorful.
Then, because it seemed important, I jotted down all the potential projects on a big sheet of paper, and instantly was soul-crushingly depressed that everything was disconnected and incoherent. (I managed to forget completely that Shiva Nata’s job is to destroy the patterns in order to reveal new ones — haha, good one, brain! This is a normal part of the process, but I forgot about it.)
The map of sad disconnected projects looked something like this:
Some of them seemed to cancel each other out. Disparate visions of my life. And no energy to pursue any one of them. Some of them were projects so large and overwhelming, I felt insane just attempting to put them on the map.
But I kept journaling.
I kept asking myself questions. Noticing and writing down the sad and/or insane thoughts passing through. What am I scared to lose, by following this or that project? Why the lack of energy in general? How do I get into greater alignment with what I want?
I took a break to read the letter I wrote to myself, in case things got hard and I needed safety. (Thanks, past self! Good idea.) It helped a little when I read, Where you go is the right place. What you do is the right thing.
I released an expectation: This does not have to make me money, or even make sense; much like Secret Play Dates, it’s not about an end result but rather the practice of spending time with this part of your brain. The artist brain, the symbolic brain, the dreaming brain.
I kept journaling.
And then the connections started to pop out of the background. Oh, obviously projects A and G are connected. I drew a little tentative bridge between them.
I kept journaling.
Another bridge. A delicate little vine to another island. Better bridges, interwoven. Purposeful excited arrows! Special circling cocoons. Petals and marquee lights!
The mind map now looked like this:
And I felt tremendous relief. Clarity. Oh that special sneaky Shiva Nata/rally magic — it might not give you the thing you wanted, but it will be the thing you need.
And I got to hear how Simone’s mini-Rally went, and be in that special post-Rally hum of excitement with someone who understood and was willing to listen to my mostly coherent thoughts about it. Ahhhhhhh.
It was my own little journey into the inferno, perhaps. E quindi uscimmo a riveder le stelle: and then we emerged to see the stars again. (I find it interesting that I used that quote just last fall to describe another little rollercoaster of a project!) The stars. The stars are very important, that is what you need to know.
What came next: a few realizations
First, I thought I was going to come here today and tell you all about how I have been Simone’s secret business coach for the last month. (Exciting, right? I have so much excitement about that! Noticings and ideas!)
Instead, I want to tell you about how much I desperately need to coach myself out of where I am now. And this goes beyond momentary confusion: I have some big, scared, sad parts of my life right now. They need acknowledgement and attention. Some of it is related to this and also to the secret thought (special awesomeness: today, oddly enough, just like when I wrote that last post, there were eggplant parmesan leftovers for lunch) even though the weird power of alignment actually makes dealing with the secret thought a little bit harder.
Most importantly: I can’t show up with my whole self in my side projects and possible business ventures if I can’t show up with my whole self in my day-to-day life, either. And I need to learn more about this.
Some of this work will be internal. Counseling and pulling away from things. Intentional work.
Some of this work will be external: writing about parts of it here, and working on specific projects (there will be a tiny quilt! mark my words!) that were dreamed up during this mini-Rally as part of the process of moving forward.
I came out with lists of things to write. Excitement about other things! As part of my post-processing-process, I wrote a letter to my future self, for her to read on a day when she’s not quite sure what the hell happened at the mini-Rally or why the secret theme of alignment was so important.
I’ll write some of the things I dreamed up. I’ll read that letter. I’ll sit with my art supplies and my fabric supplies some more, too. I’ll let savasana help me to integrate and rest after all this energetic noticing and learning.
It’s going to be a big year.
Thanks for coming along on this odd little journey through my interior landscape! Stop by and say hello sometime, I’m grateful to you for reading, as ever. xo