2018 The Year of Personal Mastery
In 2018 I asked to know my path and my purpose at a deep level. I was ready to take on the world and to show up in a new way. A more authentic way.
I was onto something that began in 2017, and I wanted to get to the heart of the matter. I was motivated by the steps I had taken to follow my passion and giving myself an outlet for my own creative expression - writing, by launching this blog in August of 2017. I also decided to dedicate myself to empowering women through the development of their innate leadership abilities with executive coaching, mentoring, group facilitation and speaking.
On the personal front, I was determined to rediscover and redefine mental patterns that were holding me back with doubt, worry, anxiety, fear and hesitation. I was determined to reprogram all the limitations imposed by thoughts, beliefs, and mental constructs.
After the two previous years of the inexorable undoing of a career I had fought and worked so hard for, I thought I had learned the spiritual lesson about ego and identity. I understood there was more to life than the ego’s attachment to a role, title, influence, status and salary.
“I’m good. I got this. I’m ready to move on. I’m ready for something new!”
Like the good student and efficient corporate executive that I had been my whole life, I thought that once I understood a lesson, I could quickly move on. I’m a quick learner. I like moving forward. Time is of the essence and I have no time to waste!
I thought I had grown enough. I thought I knew myself and could master life. The ego-mind thought this. It didn’t like or want more discomfort. It wanted a smooth, easy ride from hereon out. Besides, I thought, I deserve to succeed because I’ve acknowledged my own creative needs and I’m taking action on them. Right?! This is what happens to the ‘good’ people who follow their dreams and their passions. They succeed. And I was going to succeed, my way.
THE YEAR OF PERSONAL MASTERY - THE ELEVEN YEAR
As 2018 began, I keyed into its energetic meaning. In numerology, 2018 becomes the master number “11”. The last time we had an 11 master year was 2009, and before that in 1910. So, this was a year to behold and to work with consciously. Tuning into energies was new to me, but I was fascinated by the concept and by the prospect of finding an edge to achieve more.
Master numbers carry intense and high vibrational frequencies and they work behind the scenes – in the transcendental realms of creation. They operate in the subconscious and superconscious. They do their magic in places that our regular minds usually dismiss as fantasy and woo-woo dreaming without scientific basis. But there was something that felt right about working behind the mind’s eye. I knew nothing about this - energy, the transcendent, other realms, vibrations, etc. but I knew about psychology, emotional intelligence, NLP and other forms of more accepted practices to reprogram our minds and mindsets.
There was a lot of information about numerology, astrology and other ancient forms of working with energies, patterns and objects (the cosmos, sounds, mantras, yantras, symbols, divination, etc.) with quite a lot of rigor behind them. I was hooked. So I dug in.
Master numbers possess vast potential for learning and growth and can bring major transformations in our lives. And eleven is a master number. Clearly, it had an intensifying effect on our lives, and what had begun in 2017, which was a ‘1’ universal year; a year of new beginnings. New beginnings that emerge from endings.
The number eleven carries the energy of enlightenment, self-mastery, personal mastery, wisdom and purpose, amongst other things. It’s also the number of unity and of uniting apparent dualities and polarities (within ourselves).
What 2018 had in store was nothing like I expected. I assumed that personal mastery equals success the way I want it … in other words everything the way I prefer it to be; in my time, under my control, pain-free, smoothly executed and immediately successful.
I was perceiving mastery from the ego-mind, from the usual hustle and bustle of getting things done, achievement, striving, identification, and constant-upward movement without break or without pause. All 1’s, no 0’s. And double 1’s of an eleven year meant that it was all systems go. So, of course I was ready for personal mastery. I had important work to do in the world, and no time to waste!
SO WHAT IS PERSONAL MASTERY, REALLY?
The concept of personal mastery from the perspective of the human condition and from the perspective of the higher self are quite far apart.
It’s probably best that my ego-mind didn’t know what was coming. Surely, if we knew we were going to be challenged by intense discomfort in order to achieve growth we were clueless about, or if we (me) thought that I had already paid my dues, we would never, ever sign up for the tougher stuff.
I can say, with deep humility, that 2018 was a year of intense discomfort, especially emotional discomfort. It was a year of unprecedented discovery about exactly who I am and who I thought I was (so I could get rid of the false self). It was a year of ego-death, Soul invitation, and spiritual transformation. It was not easy. It didn’t feel good most of the time. It required extreme trust and faith. It pushed me to go into my shadow and my psyche and dig out some gnarly stuff that was scary. And it was asking to be loved, accepted and integrated.
This was an act of mysticism and magic. It was the power of alchemical transformation. Conscious metaphysical alchemy.
Personal mastery was not mind over matter, mind over universe, my will over the world around me. No, no. Personal mastery was something else entirely.
Personal mastery meant going into the deepest, darkest recesses of myself and of my subconscious; into my memories, my karma, my emotions, my past and my patterns. Into everything that made up my experience of reality and of life.
Personal mastery meant surrendering to forces greater than my ego and my mind. Forces I had only glimpsed before. Forces that are terrifying and awe-inspiring. Forces that simultaneously scared me and that I wanted to get closer to. Forces I was unprepared for. Forces that towed me under a mystical ocean of growth and spiritual evolution.
Personal mastery meant relinquishing the need to control the outside without facing the inside. Personal mastery meant accepting the cycles of life and death for all things – not only living and beloved beings but also ideas, identities and expectations. Personal mastery meant allowing things to happen without trying to control the outcome and being grateful even when they happened in a way that I would normally paint as failures.
Personal mastery meant expressing my needs, asking for help, relying on others and letting them in, close to my tender heart. Personal mastery meant showing the soft underbelly, finding strength in vulnerability, finding authority in authenticity and finding my creative expression without the need for external validation. I only ever needed my own validation.
Personal mastery meant finding a source of strength and truth that was not under my (ego/mind) control, but at my (soul) command. Personal mastery meant recognizing all the gifts, all the abilities, all the light and all the love that I AM.
Personal mastery really means knowing myself so thoroughly and so deeply that I cannot hide myself from myself. I cannot hide my shadow, I cannot hold onto blame, shame, guilt and judgment. I cannot bury my fears, I cannot ‘not’ feel emotions, I cannot pretend that anything is ok when it isn’t. I cannot gloss over or distract myself from the truth. I cannot avoid my work. My inner work.
Personal mastery means personal accountability and responsibility for every part of my life, for every reaction, every action, every experience, and every outcome. Personal mastery means consciously choosing to walk a higher path, to stay out of the chaos, and to contribute to the higher frequencies even when it is so easy to slip into the instant gratification of staking a claim, stating an opinion, passing judgment or needing to be right. Personal mastery means allowing the experience of pain and deciding not to suffer.
The wisdom gained in 2018 (another of the 11 vibration energies of mastery) has given me a deeper understanding of life, relationships, motivation, manifestation, action and the impact that our thoughts have when they are backed by intentional energy and emotion.
Though I wouldn’t have expressed this a year ago, whether out of shyness, shame or naiveté, what I was actually seeking in 2018 was spiritual awakening. I was seeking transcendental understanding. I was seeking Soul healing. I was seeking my Self. In a way, my Soul was doing the driving behind the scenes of my conscious awareness. Until I became aware that I had been turned around my whole life. I had it backwards. The master is actually the servant.
It isn’t the ego that’s supposed to lead. It’s the Soul.
The enlightenment promised by the master number 11 universal year, for me, a life path 22 in a 7 personal year was almost literal. Enlighten. To lighten. To become lighter. Lighter by relinquishing, releasing, clearing and purging. Lighter by letting go. Truly, genuinely, energetically, emotionally, mentally and wholeheartedly letting go.
I discovered that when we seek with soulful intention, we are shown the way to having, being and experiencing our deepest desires. The way is not linear. The way is not immediate. The way doesn’t feel good all the time. But it is the only way to reach that ultimate destination. I was shown my path and I was shown my purpose. It was a hero’s journey and a mystical adventure into the realms of my psyche and Soul.
We have to grow through mud to bloom as a lotus. We have to shine our light into our own darkness to discover that every part of us is lovable. And we have to love those parts. We have to love ourselves. We have to honor the person we are today. We have to honor our path.
CELEBRATING THE GIFTS
In 2018, personal mastery meant becoming an alchemist and a mystic. Owning my gifts and my karma. Reading the legacy written by my Soul in the stars. Accepting my path and my purpose as something far, far greater than a new career or role or accolade or accomplishment.
And, while all this was happening, while I was working in the depths of my being, while I was facing death and grief head on through Barrington’s transition across the rainbow bridge, while I couldn’t see a clear path for what I was supposed to ‘do’, life carried on. Without pushing, striving, struggling or smashing through walls, I had a beautiful year with much to celebrate, to be proud of, and to be grateful for.
I am celebrating abundance, fulfillment, contentment, satisfaction, love, family, community and connection.
Creatively, I launched my podcast, I opened sacred space for monthly women’s circles, I’ve written most of my book, I gave a breakthrough public talk, and I still managed to knock out a few blog posts.
Professionally, I joined a new real estate investment firm, Alpha Investing, where I can pursue my passion for real estate investing, providing access to high end, commercial projects normally reserved for the ultra-wealthy. I am working on empowering women both through Alpha Investing and through my coaching, corporate speaking and workshops. I was invited as the first woman mentor in the USC Marshall School of Business Life Purpose Mentorship program (TOC) to 2nd year MBA students and I am loving this work as a way of giving back and paying it forward.
I invested heavily in myself with professional training by completing a women’s leadership coaching facilitator’s program, a professional yoga-psychology program, and many other online and in-person mini-trainings in medical intuition, shamanism, mindfulness and meditation.
Personally, I traveled to Canada, Mexico and Bali. I have connected with new friends who are like soul-family and I have a sisterhood around me that has held me through this year’s emotional turbulence with more grace and love than I thought I could ever receive. We completed work on our home remodel (the bulk of it anyway!) including a new studio and event space.
Romantically, I celebrated my marriage to Andrew in front of friends and family, and we did a lot of conscious work on our relationship and our marriage. We know we only grow if we grow together, and that means communicating, opening up, letting each other in, and letting things go.
Andrew and I were given the gift of pouring so much love onto Barrington, being present with and for him, and being better people because of his gift of love for us. Even as he deteriorated, we doubled down our love. We loved him more. We tried harder. We gave him all we had to give him, because he did the same for us. And we are committed to continuing to do the same for each other.
The year 2018 broke me open. I understand that we cannot be broken! I’m serious. We cannot be broken. We can crack. We can peel. We can disintegrate. And when we do, we should celebrate. Because what’s cracking, peeling and disintegrating is the heaviness of ego that is covering up the luminosity, the vibrancy, and the radiance of our Souls.
RECOMMITTING TO GROWTH
When I think back, look back, and feel back on 2018, I am grateful and uplifted. I am not a victim ‘to 2018’, to a particular energy, to a mindset or to any story I like to tell myself when I’m not getting what my little ego-mind wants. In fact, I’m more empowered, clear, and motivated than ever. Yes, it was a year punctuated by grief, tragedy, and loss. Yes, it was a year with a poignant undercurrent of emotional intensity. Yes, it was a year when all my grand plans fizzled like a faulty firecracker.
What I received instead is immeasurable, inconceivable, and true to the Universal Master Number 11 Year of Personal Mastery, all happened behind the scenes of my mind, in the depths of my Soul, in the realms of transcendent creation. What 2018 did was prepare me to consciously, intentionally, and with heart-felt awareness, know myself from the inside out, make empowered choices for what I want, understand my motivations, and appreciate what I have.
Because what I have, now, is all I’ve got. This present moment. In its perfection.
Surveying the remains of a life completely altered in 2018, I see and feel immense love. Love for what withstood, for what and who came in, for what passed, for who moved on, and for what remains. I see a foundation strong enough to rebuild from with soulful intention, conscious awareness and limitless possibility.
With gratitude for all that has cleansed and shaped me, I face forward and recommit. I recommit to my spiritual growth. I recommit to living my path and my purpose. I recommit to conscious relationships and partnerships. I recommit to love. I recommit to myself. I recommit to my creative expression. I recommit to building community and conscious spaces. I recommit to my work in the world.
I recommit to being the light.