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The Burning Times (October 2019)

Updated: Oct 7

“Here in this suffering, all previous beliefs are called into question. They are consumed in the fire sparked and fuelled by our own illusion. The pain becomes the ashes we are now entombed in. It is only when we find ourselves at this most imprisoned of junctures that we emerge again, the phoenix of our very life which is ever so much more beautiful than the last.”

- Teal Swan


What a shit show. All I see as I look around me is fire. Fire eating up the Amazon. Fire on the streets from the xenophobic attacks in South Africa . Fire from the women protesting that #enoughisenough. Fire eating up the forests in California. Fire when I tell my fiancé I am not ready to get married. Fire when my family find out the ugly truth behind the beautiful lie. Burning, burning, burnt.

Days before signing our marriage certificate, I told my fiancé I did not want to get married. There were a number of intuitive reasons why but outwardly what I had realised was that I could not get married because I was not independent and before I could become interdependent I needed to achieve that otherwise all we were becoming was codependent. And codependent was becoming a recipe for inertia and blame. The last thing I said to my partner was, ‘if you love me, set me free,’ and as torturous as it was, I meant it. Let me go. Do not wait for me. Let yourself free. I knew that there was work to be done and I wanted to reach ground that was not wanting to reach me. Something deep inside of me yearned to be free. A desire to run. Never quite sure where I was running to or what I was running from. ‘The capacity to be alone is the capacity to love.’ In many ways I thought I had learned this, but obsession and possession arose and in that intoxication, I knew something was not right. I want to know what it means, unconditional love. I want to know it exists somewhere in the far corners of our broken hearts.  

In this journey to find my voice, I was met with deafening defiance. A lot of confusion and disappointment. But he loves you? But you love him? But you were so happy? But you had everything? But why could you not do it together? And perhaps the most terrifying. ‘But it does not get any better than this.’ All creating a complex mental madness that would strip me to my very core, spiritually, physically and emotionally. It was whilst on the streets of Manhattan with a bank card that had been blocked, no close friends in the city (because I had turned my back on them to nurture us), family that were being manipulated by him (and who I had tried not to involve) and but a few dollars left in my wallet, that I realised how truly dependent I was. The unfolding of the breakdown was harrowing. It was ugly. It was emptying. It was heart wrenching. And it was magical.

It was in these moments of burning and being stripped of everything that I had, that I was able to find what was really important. Complete trust in myself. When the soul is calling for change, you listen. Even if it means turning your back on a life you had worked so hard to create. Even when your heart feels like it has been ripped from your chest and is lodged in your throat. Even when everyone around you thinks you have lost it. Sometimes it is in this space of total rejection and isolation from the outside world that you find your truth and emerge out of the ashes and into the person you need to be. For you. I do believe that when we honour ourselves so deeply in this way, the universe provides, and oh she provided. She provided in the form of a gift. A gift of a one in a million chance encounter on my very last evening that would dissolve any further doubts in my mind. All I can say is Bluebeard wears many different masks. You may wonder how this relates to the burning of the lungs of our Earth? Or the gender-based violence that brought thousands of South African’s to the streets on the week I was arriving home?

As within so without.

We are all being called to action and that action starts with the embodying of our truth. How could I stand up against the abuse of my sisters and yet allow myself to be turned into a little girl in my relationship? How could I deny my body of unconditional love and yet call myself a wild and empowered woman? How could I call myself one with the Earth and yet watch as she went up in flames because of our insatiable greed? Hypocrisy. A word that makes me cringe and it is only because of that cringing that I know it to be true. We are all hypocrites, it is almost impossible in our current system not to be. We are vegans but we drive cars, we love the Earth but we also love burgers and overseas trips, we love buying clothing, but we know fashion is responsible for excessive amounts of waste. This is not a calling out but an acknowledgement of the times we are in.

Centuries of old wounds are surfacing and we are all feeling the collective pain of an awakening world. Old structures are breaking down and we are witnessing gross corruption and greed that is so deeply embedded in our society but that can no longer be hidden from us. There is a feeling of mass disillusionment and wonder as to how to go on, knowing what we now know. And whilst I cannot fly to the Amazon to prevent further destruction of our ancient forests, I can dig deep within myself and prevent the further destruction of my own body and soul. In the rejecting of the parts of myself that made me who I am, I lost the strength to be the protector of Her. The Native American’s question the white people’s desperation to “save the world.” How very entitled and ignorant we are. The Earth does not need saving. We humans do. And that saving begins with ourselves. We are not fighting Climate Change. That would mean it is happening to us. We humans are the orchestrators of our own demise. As I tear myself away from all the screens, I realise that my reposting of (the sometimes fake) images of the jungle burning was only a distraction from the burning that I was experiencing in my own reality. Where was I abusing my body? Where was I allowing myself to be exploited? Where was I abusing others? Where was I abusing our Earth? And so I removed myself from my Instagram feed and had a serious check in. Remembering the times I had let out a high pitched yes instead of a deep bellied no. Gaslighted by the person I trusted, doubting my intuition and pulling away from the women in my life that were trying to bring me back to my own truth. When we do not have mirrors around, we can become lost in the maze of our own illusion. I had to let go of blame and take ownership of where I had deceived myself and where, after popping the bubble, I now found myself.

The world is not in our way. We are the way. And the way is in.  

The collapse of what was once my reality, inspired the building of this platform and finally putting all this experience into a format that could be shared. Life, death, rebirth. My therapist told me, “do not let your pain be in vain.” My experience is my medicine and my life has been my training ground for who I am meant to become. When I let go of blame and judgement, I can appreciate the gifts behind the wounds. We are living in a time of numerous, overlapping crises and it is clear that major transformation is banging at the door. The world is not doing it to us, we write the story and we have an opportunity to change the narrative. Out of the comfort zone lies the dark night of the soul, where meaning collapses and you are forced to question everything. It was time to return home with nothing but a few cases and a forceful confrontation of my fears. My concern with what others thought of me and the unravelling of a story I was trying to uphold. It was this mania that had contributed to my feeding of the dream and the hiding of what really went on in the neglected places of my own heart. Instagram is a great tool for that. So is codependent love. Don’t worry, it’s all good here, I can fix it with this filter, with this human, with this job, with this house. Looking outside instead of going in.  

I share my story as an echo that might reverberate somewhere in your own mind. A radical reflection of the chaos and the realness of what it means to live in these current times. Lit up and full of rage. Broken and full of no thing ness. Angry, betrayed and completely lost. Kali shattering any last remaining attempts at composure and niceness. We cannot keep hiding these fundamental parts of the healing experience. We need each other as we navigate new territory and so I encourage you to ask yourself the hard questions. How are you doing, really? How are you treating your body? Where are you abandoning your truth? How are you treating your partner? Your planet? We are all being called to action. Millions are stopping their daily routines to take part in rebellions against a system that is slowly killing us. However you choose to act is your prerogative but the reality of taking action is upon us. The big dilemmas that face us out there can be overwhelming and so we can start with small steps in here. Facing our patterns of fear, victimisation or apathy. The lighting of a candle as you say a prayer each morning, gathering with the women in your life and creating sacred rituals, acknowledging with gratitude the abundance of what our Earth provides for us. It can look like a boundary when you are overworked or a kind gesture to a stranger, calling out of oppressive behaviour or walking barefoot to feel our connection to source. My offerings are now available through this site. I work with where you are at and am open to what you have to exchange. We are all in this together. Let’s remember to share and show up!  From my fiery heart to yours, A . M  

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