The Phoenix Process
"You Have Seen My Descent. Now Watch My Rising."
"The transformational journey is a voyage with a hundred different names: the Odyssey, the Grail Quest, the great initiation, the death and rebirth process, the supreme battle, the dark night of the soul, the hero's journey.
All of these names describe the process of surrendering to a time of great of great difficulty, allowing the pain to break us open, and then being reborn- stronger, wiser, and kinder."
Elizabeth Lesser (Broken Open)
Or, what some may call this journey... the Phoenix Process.
The Phoenix slightly rocked my world upon hearing the processing of this mythical bird.
The Egyptians called this bird, the Phoenix, and believed that every five hundred years he renewed his quest for his
This initiation process, isn't physically, mentally or emotionally beautiful or a quest that seems intriguing or appealing to the eye.
& it doesn't really make you want to leap up and say ,
"I want in!"
The Phoenix Process is the ultimate soul grind.
The mythical bird knows that a new way can be found only by the death of his worn-out habits, defenses, and beliefs
The Phoenix built a pyre of cinnamon and myrrh, sat in flames, and burned to death.
Then he rose from the ashes as a new being-
a fusion of who he had been before and who he had become.
A new bird, yet even more himself; changed, and at the same time the eternal Phoenix.
This process can look different for everyone and normally comes at times of
when the darkness seems as though it has become your home & dwelling place
a time when your losses have outnumbered your gains
a time of extreme grief
a time of complete and utter loss for life
a time of lost passion and emotional fatigue
a time of chaos and frustration
when you have genuinely...
"have had enough and cant bare more"
time of trauma and disease
a time of illness or physical impairment
time of ultimate loneliness and despair
time of addiction
time of depression
a complete life shift
entering or exiting a chapter of life
losing a loved one
shattered chapter of life
...you fill in the blank.
My Phoenix Process has been re occurring
I continually touched the darkness, made it my home.
I have felt loneliness, depression, abuse, sadness, loss, grief....
I felt ultimate defeat .
I have felt helpless
I have felt very, very, small & used
I have touched the darkness within my soul, gave it a friendly stroke, and spoke to it... but than I left it be to fend for itself
I used my own resiliency and strength against myself
Knowing, I would eventually overcome...
but that's all I was doing
& not Rising
& not Healing
I saw being still, reflecting, and loving on myself as foolish
I saw tears, emotions, and feelings as weak
I saw staying in the darkness, sadness or heartache for
"too long" as petty
& allowing others to win
I saw reaching for support and help...
as a way out of taking responsibility
for my mistakes and my past failures
I saw being honest about my ache in my soul as
stories i was telling myself and a way of exaggerating
Ultimately, I saw tending to my heart and souls ache,
as a waste of time
& instead of holding it dear and letting it be heard, giving it a voice & fighting for my souls beauty and authenticity
I shook it up and told it to get up, get a grip, & get moving....
"you'll be fine"
I have used many things, people, and numbing tactics to
manipulate my soul, emotions, mind and heart in believing
everything is fine
I've never been more wrong.
My life has tried to awaken the Phoenix Process
one to many times
& this time, I listened.
"When we descend all the way down to the bottom of a loss, and dwell patiently with an open heart, in the darkness and pain, we can bring back up with us the sweetness of life and the exhilaration of inner growth. Where there is nothing left to lose, we find the true self- the self that is whole, the self that is enough, the self that no longer looks to others for definition, or completion, or anything but companionship on the journey...This is the way to live a meaningful and hopeful life- a life or real happiness and inner peace.
This is the Phoenix Process." (Lesser, pg. 56)
I came to my Phoenix Process in a very rare form
I, one day, was chatting on the phone with a dear friend
& after her shaking me up and rattling me with some humbling questions
I realized I can associate with the woman...
who has experienced trauma
who watched her family fall apart
who hasn't had a father figure
who has lived in a residential care facility
who has had to seek support for depression as a teen
who lived a toxic lifestyle
who was known as "the party girl"
who failed over and over
who spent years angry
who lied and manipulated those I loved
who was in a very abusive long term relationship
who was used, manipulated, and hurt
who compromised her worth
who thrived on her numbing pill obsession
who used alcohol as a coping mechanism
who has made many, many, many mistakes
who became pregnant before her 21st birthday
who disappointment her family many times
who hurt friends and those close to me
who had her heart broken
& has been left
who invested time in such pointless and empty environments
& engaged in friendships that didn't serve her
who descended many times....
who overcame, overcame & overcame...
Who used her own resiliency and strength against herself.
I can associate and speak of her and empower that woman...
I can speak of my failures, my losses, my mistakes
& my choice to make a radical change in my life....
what about this woman?
What about the woman I am today?
What about the woman I see everyday when I look in the mirror?
The woman, who stands now...
in a very different place in her life.
A place, to which, she is very proud of.
Which, is now a warrior woman, who sees vulnerability as breathtaking and radical love as a piece that adorns her crown that she values as a Queen.
She values her voice and speaks her truth
This woman, today, is beautiful...
But because I didn't allow myself to...
hear, listen and sit in my darkness
to walk by my own shadows
& to full embrace
grieving, being angry, and healing
I wasn't allowing her to be exposed
I wasn't allowing myself to see her or set her free
In order to do this, I had to step back into my darkness
& I wasn't surrendering to my numbness or ability to run this time...
So, I've felt it all, every damn bit.
My Depression, My Victim, My Walls, My Numbing Tactics, My Heartache, My Grieving. My Anger, My Betrayal, My Loneliness,
My Loss of those I once held dear, My Mistakes, My Pain...
I had to open my heart & soul wide open
Man, has this been painfully RADICAL
Some days raw & very strenuous & others breathtakingly beautiful
In the past few months...
I have cried more than I have in my lifetime
over beauty, pain, grief, heartache, anger, love
I now... value every tear that graces my face
I've allowed myself not to know all the answers or answer immediately
I've sat, meditated, danced, remained in silence
Asked myself the difficult and humbling questions
I listen to my soul
& I have chosen to not rush my healing
I have experienced anger
& found healthy ways to process and turn it into f'n beauty
I have experienced shame & guilt in a new level
When I began processing through my shame and guilt I found...
how harshly i speak to myself
& found grace and love for myself in this and through this
I look at myself and see beauty and pride
I speak to myself so sweetly and tenderly
If I feel a hurt, pain, fear, anger, or loss
I allow myself to feel it
sit in it
Iv'e found loneliness, with myself, as serenity and powerful
Iv'e found boundaries as a form of caring for self
& sharing space with empowering and deep souls
is so fulfilling
I allow my soul and heart to be heard
I have found self discovery is so radical & moving
Iv'e allowed myself to feel "lost" so that I may find myself
I have stepped into parts of my life, to which, I had literally built unbreakable walls around
& I had to choose to take down the walls, one by one,
& allowed myself to see what was behind it
& gave myself love and patience while processing
I have chosen to see those who inflicted pain on me
speak to this pain and hurt & see them...
as beings that I need to forgive
Iv'e chosen to attempt to replace this hatred of years
into some radical love
Iv'e chosen to see beauty in even the smallest aspects of life
I have also felt more than I have in my lifetime
I genuinely laugh and delight in living my beautiful life
I smile from my soul
& i love with every bit of my being.
I have emotions, feelings, and I welcome them...
I don't shackle them.
Ive chosen to set my jaded, shackled, numbed and warrior woman soul...free
day by day.
This is not to say i didn't enjoy or marvel at life previously
Its to say I enjoy and marvel at life now, much more deeply and with much more intention and depth
& with a new found honor and perspective
I soak it in & embrace all it has to offer
& all I have to learn
I have found that my past has made me who I am today
but it doesn't define the woman I am
I can care and love the woman who is rising from the ashes
not just the one who remained in the pit
The pit of fire had its purpose
in many different times of my life
but my soul, today, deserves to rise
and be celebrated, for that.
celebrated by this woman, the woman I am today
who is the only one who has the power to give my soul that gift.
& i choose to feel it all.
So that I may grow and heal and love this
beautiful soul, as it is, and for what it has been through.
Yes, many many have seen my descent.....
& now I have visited, accompanied, and surrendered to my darkness of my soul
& I am rising.....
& it is BEAUTIFUL.
"Each one of us, regardless of our situation, is looking for the same treasure in the ashes. We are in search of our most authentic, vital, generous, and wise, self. What stands between that self and us is what burns in the fire. Our illusions, our rigidity, our fear, our blame, our lack of faith, and our sense of separation: All of these- in varying strengths and combinations- are what must die in order for a more true self to arise. If we want to turn our painful event into a Phoenix Process, we must name what needs to be burn within us."
What do you need to burn?
Sit in it.
Listen and Hear Your Souls Deadness
gently, sweetly, lovingly
have abundant grace with yourself in this process
& allow yourself to see your beauty
Allow yourself to feel
Set your soul free