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"All my activities are finished and now I'm feeling lost"

Dear Ayal:

Have been in or near tears all afternoon. I hope you have a suggestion for me.

I am a musician, a classically trained soprano. My personal background is that both parents are deceased, I am married, and have a very intelligent, just turned 4, daughter.

It was a lot of work on our part (my husband and I) to have our daughter, Anna. I had at least 5 losses before Anna survived. We actually thought that I had miscarried Anna and went so far as to have a memorial service for her. A week after the supposed miscarriage, they called me in to the doctor's office (the pathology report had come across his desk) and on the ultrasound, Anna came up waving and kicking.

After Anna was born, I stayed home with her and basically lost "me" to be pretty much only "mom". Last spring/summer, our outgoing interim minister (I'm a Unitarian/Universalist) set me on a path (finally) to find "me" again. I had been searching for a direction shortly after I became "mom", but no one I spoke to picked up on what that interim minister did.

Since then, I've been working with a spiritual director, getting massages, and working on finding "me". Within the last 4 months, I've also been getting some physical therapy for a foot and shoulder problem (myo-fascial release), working with my massage therapist having 12 session total body myo-fascial release work, having some tarot readings and astrology readings done, joined a 12 week Artist's Way gathering (based on the book by Nancy Cameron); and about 6 months ago had a voice print done and attended a workshop on healing sound. Also have been doing some on-again, off-again accupressure for allergies, etc. for several years.

Also, to get some time for me, we enrolled Anna in summer camp last summer, then in Montessori school in the fall, and she'll be going back to summer camp this summer. And at some point, I quit a paying choir job whose director was driving me to distraction.

I was making progress. My voice was (and is) getting lots better under the voice teacher I started with last summer. Was starting to be really "here" and really happy doing the Artist's Way meetings. Have been wanting to pursue being more serious about my solo singing and make a demo CD and perhaps get some jobs in front of symphony orchestras or oratorio societies. But seemed to be making so much "progress" both vocally and personally, that I kept feeling that I needed to see where I'd end up before making a CD. Then we had the last Artist's Way meeting. The group has decided to still meet about once a month to get together and chat or bring art projects, but nothing has been scheduled.

And now, I feel I'm almost back where I started. I know I've made progress. I know I'm nowhere near where I was last year. But without my weekly Artist's Way meeting, I'm feeling lost. I seem to be giving more than I'm taking in and I'm not sure what to do to resolve this problem. My daughter is sticking to me like glue (it seems that she has to be in the same room as I am almost all the time we're alone together) just when I think she's past this stage and I'd really like a little more "me" time.

I feel empty again. And I've been doing all sorts of nice things for me. Doing things by myself that I like to do. (Ok - just realized - AGAIN - that my choral rehearsals are basically over for the summer, and there is my one regular night out that is now only a sporadic night out.)

I've been feeling overwhelmed, and unorganized, and out of touch/not with it. Not here. Had some myo-fascial release work done yesterday and she helped me be centered and "here" but it didn't last. And, the last 5 to 6 nights, have been waking up at some degree of 3 or 4 a.m., which my accupressure person tells me is related to the lung (forget the word - chi?) which relates to grief and self esteem/self worth. And today, my voice teacher made a "never" generalization about me to the accompanist (while laughing), that zinged me in my "but I'm working on doing better" gut response. And then my - "kick me while I'm down" kicked in, and I pointed out to myself that "but I haven't done better yet!" And then, of course, from there it's an easy step to "and I'm not likely to do better in the future."

Any suggestions (besides running away, which wouldn't work anyhow)?

However, what has been kind of a "synchronicity" about this whole healing process, is that over the past 6 months, "everyone," in sucession, tells me the same things. Say I start the week with a voice lesson - he says something. Then I get a massage and my therapist says basically the same thing. Then, if I have a tarot or astrology reading, she too says basically the same thing. Etc.

So, how many times do I need to hear "buck up" and "believe in myself" before I act on it and it becomes second nature (and I can proceed with my vocal career)?

Hi - Thank you for your letter.

Well, there are a bunch of things showing up here for you. Let's see if I can put it into some kind of order.

First of all, you have a false belief going on regarding selflessness. Sometimes we think that if we're not being selfless, we are being selfish. Where did you get that belief from? Sounds as if you have some beliefs going on about what you "should" do as opposed to doing what you love. You end your letter, even, quite tellingly, by saying you "should know better." That sounds like a critical parental message that you were given, to me. Like someone wagging their finger at you and telling you that you ought to feel ashamed and not do it your way. That what you did was "bad'. Shame is an energy stealer, an illusion, a judgment, which is always based on fear, not Love, and nothing you want to carry around. That's a nasty message to be giving yourself. Do some core belief work with that one, and see what you can come up with that works better for you. (To help with this clearing you can use 'The Laws of the Universe').

We're here to create our own lives and lessons for ourselves, with Love and respect for ourselves, and to do what excites and inspires us. When we are doing that, the other people in our lives whom we touch feel that love. We don't have to "take care of" them in the sense of creating their lives for them, or do it the way they think we "should" - it's not up to us to create their reality for them - we can't do that, anyway. If we think that that is our job, we end up feeling trapped and exhausted and resentful. All we have to do is do what we love, and all else flows from there.

I think that your daughter is getting the message from you that you're supposed to be her life for her, that your job is to give her your life force (which it isn't, by the way). You have to trust that she has her own life force, and from what you said about her, she has plenty of that and that is why she is having difficulty separating from you. Unconsciously, you are giving her that message. Probably a message you got or decided to believe in, at some point. That's not healthy for either of you. See what you choose to change that into that works better for you.

Another thing that ties into this is an issue you have with abandonment. If you have fears about abandonment that you are radiating out unconsciously, your daughter will also pick up on that, feel that fear, and end up wanting and needing to stick close to you. More core belief work. How surprised will you be that when you release your fear and belief that you will be abandoned, her behavior will change accordingly?

All of the things you cite that you love, such as your meetings, voice lessons, etc., all have this thread of abandonment in them. They are ending, leaving you "alone" again, which you express with exhaustion, hopelessness, and grief, or your voice teacher abandons you by saying something hurtful, etc. This belief in abandonment is what is creating all of this for you. It's not about another person, place, or thing. It's about you creating your reality from the belief that you will always be abandoned, or, as you put it, "kicked when you are down." Get rid of that one! Follow the formula for changing a core belief and trust and allow that to shift for you. What is the opposite of feeling abandoned? Bring that energy into every cell of your body, every minute, instead. Feel it, and create from that place... unless you want to play with feeling victimized some more. That's all it is, and that's why we hold onto old beliefs - we're not ready to let it go because we're still getting something out of it. When you feel this way, you get to experience sadness, pain, grief, etc. When you've had enough of those life experiences, none of which are right or wrong - they're just experiences we get to play around with - you'll move on. That's true for all of us.

There is a first chakra issue about not feeling at home - where does this one come from? An issue of sexuality is also showing up along with some upset emotional energy you are still carrying from the past regarding this. In order for your life to move forward and for you to have all of your energy, you need to let go of the past and allow yourself to be fully in the present moment. What's this issue about?

It would be good for you to do some physical exercise such as yoga. Get your energy moving physically. Also, have your parathyroid checked out. It may need a boost with supplements.

What showed up strongly for you was for you to go to the Option Institute in Massachusetts and take a workshop there. Check into their info on the web. They do great work with living life vigorously and joyfully and changing old belief systems that block that.

That's about it.

Many blessings, Ayal

P.S. I'm wondering why you signed both your name and your husband's, when this letter was about your life, and yours alone. This says to me that this is another area where you have intertwined your life force with another instead of just knowing that you are responsible for your own life. A form of false selflessness again. Give that gift to yourself. Let yourself have your own life. That isn't a bad thing to do. Quite the opposite, in fact. Just give it some thought.

113. "Can I turn this co-dependent relationship into mutual respect?"

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