“Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love.”
Rainer Maria Rilke
Letters to a Young Poet
It is a time of dragons and princesses. As I start this business I am facing every dragon that has chased me through my life, my nightmares, terror-filled days, and self-doubt. A lifetime of being told that I was not good enough, knowing that I was damaged, and what most people thought of as “damaged beyond repair,” I have had little belief that I could move forward with the courage and the fortitude that I needed. But right now, just short of sixty, I no longer have a choice, and that is good. It is time that I turn toward the dragon and stroke it gently, love it, accept it, embrace it, and then open myself to the transformation. I think I’m ready. I know I’m ready. But… I am afraid.
I think the nightmares have been coming lately because I am facing down the last of the dragons, the last vestiges of not good enough, you will never make it, you are losing the war, and if I wake up terrified at least I wake up alive and able to go on another day, step by step, inch by inch, moment by moment.
I made it through another night. This wasn’t the night I would die at the end of the dream. I may be drenched with sweat, unable to breathe, but I made it out, each time. If I am tired now, bone weary, it is because I am facing the last battles, but last night something happened. In the dream I stopped running. In the dream I turned around and faced my “dragon” and stood my ground.
I did not realize, until later this afternoon, how significant that was, and I wondered why it felt familiar, and then I remembered the Rilke quote, part of it anyway, and when I looked it up to find the whole quote I was struck silent. I have never really loved myself until these last few years and it has been slow building. Even in this last year I have felt so shy… “No one will ever love me if I don’t lose this weight, no one will love me with a crookedy smile. No one will want to watch the videos I create for students because I am lopsided and cattywompus, and if I can’t do the videos I can’t teach, and if I can’t teach in a year or less I won’t be able to eat.” Those are the nightmares. Those are the dragons. That is the little girl who hid and cowered in corners.
I went inside myself and picked her up and carried her out. I kissed her gently and told her I loved her, and in that moment the dragon started to become less solid in my imagination. He is still there, but less frightening. Most of the time. Each night when I go to bed now it is as if I charge into the dream shouting, “Once more into the breech!” The last stages of facing down your fears are the hardest, they are the bits that hang on for dear life and you have to pry the claws one by one out of the side of the mountain, and you might get slashed and cut, you might die. Or that is the fear, but it hasn’t happened yet.
Just before Christmas my business mentor said something to me that shook me to my core. She has been working with me for 6 months and we have traveled a twisty turny path with many possibilities that seemed, at times, like the tangle of thorny vines that blocked the entrance to Sleeping Beauty’s castle. I wasn’t sure I would make my way through, and finally there was the breakthrough that solidified my understanding of what it is I am meant to do. I have decades of experience and training behind me in so many fields, and I have worked with many people as a healer and teacher and they have told me that their lives have been transformed. I have the talent, and the skills, and it is something I love with my whole heart and soul. I want to be of service. I want to help and heal and love and gently guide my students through the thickets, but…
What Rachna said was, “I want to see if you are afraid to make money.” My eyes grew wide. I was shocked that she would say such a thing, but I wondered if she was right.
I have, like many other artists and writers, teachers and healers, done really good work, things that I have been proud of, but I was never able to handle the business side of things. Now I have no choice. I think I am afraid to fail at the business side of things. It is positively overwhelming. I absolutely know that I can do the teaching and the healing, the writing and the art, but the dollars and cents of it all terrifies me. It is the final dragon. And the nightmares have been tearing me apart. They started after Rachna’s question but I am so glad that she posed it because it has been the catalyst to get over the final hump.
I’m okay. I can do this. I think I can. I’m almost sure I am. Oh my God here comes the dragon again.
I wake up. I sit up. I turn on the light and pick up a sleeping tiny pug and hold her against me. She nestles into me and I can feel her heart beating against mine. I begin to breathe, to focus. I count the bricks on the fireplace and breathe as I count each one. I am okay – one, I am okay – two, I am okay – three, I will MAKE it! – four, Oh God will I make it? – five, I will make it… And so it goes. Somewhere along the line last night, before I got to the end of my brick counting, I reached up, turned off the light, and slipped back down into the covers with tiny Delilah asleep against me. Like a little girl with her doll I went to sleep with her in my arms.
Today I am better than yesterday, tired but not so tired. I didn’t need a nap, I got more work done, and tonight I am finally going to get the page together to begin my mentoring. It is very important to me, and I know that I can help people, and it is that very knowledge that propels me forward.
Last night, just before bed, I drew three oracle cards and the message was beautiful. It is one of my favorite decks and I have a lot of them. I have most of the decks Doreen Virtue has created. This one is Magical Unicorns. The question I asked was: “What do I need to know about this situation?” The three cards I drew were:
Hello and Good-bye: “You’ll soon see that this change will make things better.”
Whoa. I am always blown away by how accurate the cards are, as related to whatever question you ask.
The second card:
Healer: “You have the power to help and heal others.”
I literally gasped. My eyes got wide as saucers. There was something fluttering in my stomach.
The third card:
Simplicity: “Put your energy into the basics, and let go of excess.”
My shorthand version of this reading: You can do this, the change is coming, you are about to turn the corner, you can help and heal others, and here’s how you do it…
The last part was the most important part because this page I need to create I have started countless times. “What do I include? Should I say this, should I say that, am I charging the right amount, how should the page look?…” and it got so elaborate in my mind I would just crash, so afraid to do it wrong I couldn’t get started at all.
I have been trying too hard. I have been so afraid to be “Not enough,” (the dragon speaking through the mists of my mind) that I was just trying to build it up into something huge. But simplicity is the key. Before I go to bed tonight I will have the basic page ready. It will probably need some tweaking over the next couple of days but it will be up Sunday night or Monday morning. And when it does I believe the dragonfly will disappear, will fade away.
I am enough, I am good at what I do, I have a heart so full of love it is like a waterfall spilling out into the world across the land. I am good. I can do this. Oh my God, I am good.
I am sitting here breathless as though in the writing of this post I have run a marathon. Oh. Oh my.
No Rachna, I am not afraid to make money.
I can love the dragon for the lessons he came to teach and as he dissolved into the mists that frightened little girl found the Princess inside. It is the Goddess inside every woman. It is a Grail Quest to find her, to greet her, to embrace her, to love her, to become her.
I fall to my knees in tears. I am home.
Thank you Rachna. This weekend I am clearing the last of the vines away. The gates to the castle are opening. I am trembling, but inside I am strong, so much stronger than I ever knew.
Once more into the breech, but this time the breech is a page on this website that I will create. I am ready. My God, I am ready…