Someone asked me recently if my life looks different today than I would have imagined it as a teenager. It was a great question, and one with a truly poetic answer, so I thought I would share my story with you.
The Dream Begins
This was me (on guitar) at 13. It is all there: the adolescent angst, the ego-crushing braces, the sweet creative spirit, the great yearning to be appreciated by others. I found this picture in my parents’ basement several years ago and laughed out loud. It is now framed because, well, some things are just too perfect.
In the hummingbird photo, I was 10 years old, my first time in Coloardo and had fallen in love. By the end of that trip, the mountains had stolen my heart. Sadly, I lived 1,000 miles away from them, but that did not stop me from dreaming of someday having a place in their rocky heights that I could call my own, one I would share with a mountain man – someone like Sully, from the TV show Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. Granted, the Sully part of that fantasy bloomed a bit later (grin), but this moment with the hummingbirds was when it all began.
As this picture reveals, I was a magical child, a true believer. I knew there was something “more” because I could sense the sparkle.
As a good Midwestern child, I tried to find that sparkle in religion. When that failed, I tried to earn it by being good, sacrificing to make life better for others, doing all the right things and making all the right choices. I navigated through life by the amber glow of my halo. I was the one wearing pearls and tidying up the house while simultaneously creating world peace.
Thankfully, into my world came another magical child – one who agreed to wake me from the hypnosis. My son, David, was my mirror. He helped me open my eyes and my intuition. I still vividly remember the day he told me that the trees were talking to him. His love of music resurrected my own, and because of him, I opened my voice again.
In my 40s I began to sense the other realms and developed the capacity to heal. Everyone came to me with their problems and, being nice, I gladly took them on as my own. You see, I knew somehow that I was destined to be an angel. Let’s just say, it didn’t turn out exactly as I expected.
The Shadow Rises
I began to notice that the harder I pushed toward the light, the darker became the shadow attached to my heels. I had nightmares, lost life-force to other people, developed migraine headaches and weakness in my body – while still making sure my life looked practically perfect on the outside.
Then the illusion began to disintegrate. When my dear father died right before the holiday season, someone saw the obituary in the paper and decided to rob the family home on Christmas Eve. Those losses, along with my dog’s cancer diagnosis and my unraveling marriage, shattered the last vestiges of my “good girl” and unleashed a great rage in me. I had tried to create a safe space by being good, but instead manifested my own perfect storm. Nothing made sense any more. I knew if I didn’t break out of my prison, I would not survive; so, I did the unthinkable. I blew up the life I had so carefully crafted, the one I’d been living to earn my way back to heaven and gain forgiveness for whatever terrible awful unforgivable thing I had done in some other lifetime.
On my 50th birthday, I left my 30-year marriage, my home, my stuff, all my loved ones and moved to Colorado… without a plan.
New Beginnings Please?
Now I desperately wanted validation. I wanted PROOF, for myself and those back home, that I’d made the right decision, that I wasn’t crazy, that I would be able to create a new grand life for myself and not die under some bridge, cold and alone. So, I ran to a new relationship. He ran away from me… to Europe.
My job dissolved underneath me. So, in a burst of desperate hope, I started two businesses based on my most admirable life skill – fixing and saving other people. That didn’t work out either.
I pushed and shoved, but my new life would not ignite. Instead, everything was falling apart. Friendships fell away. My persona was dissolving. Even music, which had opened my voice, abandoned me. I couldn’t get a gig to save my soul. In a moment of despair, I realized there was nothing to do but surrender.
The Void Calls
I somehow realized there was a reason I had created this vast emptiness; a reason my mind could not grasp, but a reason just the same. My soul, it seemed, was calling me into the void. This was terrifying, but there was no way out except through.
After three years of nothingness, I figured it would end soon. In year four my beloved mother got sick. Although letting her go was so painful, her death was the catalyst for my ancestral freedom. In year five, my body started releasing that ancestry from my cells, an internal ‘party’ that lasted another three years. There were moments when I was certain I was dying; times I thought nothing else could possibly fail me. I was wrong.
This. Felt. Endless. It was the dark night of my human. And in that darkness, every last little bit of the perfectionistic, naive fixer/saver/fanciful dreamer had been crushed to bits. Every fear, every rage, every grief I’d ever run from came up to greet me. Swamped by shame and guilt, I marinated in my misery for 8 frickin’ years.
This was not what my bright-eyed teenage self expected her life to be. But a funny thing happened as I lost everything…
“If You’re Lookin,’ You Ain’t Cookin’”
Out of the void, stuff started to emerge that I totally wasn’t expecting, the first being an unexpected relationship. A dear friend I’d known for years, someone who had become a trusted confident, who had offered me a safe space to land and get past my shock, slowly became something “more.” He was so different from what I had been attracted to in the past that I didn’t see it coming. Our connection didn’t have any of the highs and lows of a karmic energy-feeding relationship.
After six months of hiding in the spare bedroom, the elephant was getting pretty big in the living room. Joe was patient as I denied the obvious. I eventually dredged up my courage and dragged the poor boy into the dirt on a camping trip, at long last allowing our relationship to go to the next level. Ironically, Joe bore a striking resemblance to Dr. Quinn’s Sully! And yes, we now live together in blissful non-matrimony (no vows ever again, thank you very much), snuggled up in the Colorado mountains.
Joe, who was a professional chef for years, has a saying: “If you’re lookin’, you ain’t cookin’,” which essentially means you need to let the oven do its work and keep the damn door closed. I find this is an accurate description for working with the void. The magic happens when we aren’t looking, and emerges when we least expect it. Joe’s words hold a striking resemblance to one of the great teachings of Adamus Saint-Germain, which I will paraphrase as, “Tell your mind to shut up and just allow energy to serve you without putting your agendas on it.”
I now know that nothing new comes without the void. The mind cannot fathom this, which is good because then it can’t mess things up. The void is the great chrysalis where the magic happens in the emptiness that isn’t empty. This mystery is the birthplace of true powerless creation. Nothing can be forced from the void.
Ironically, I discovered the Crimson Circle during my void time. I had heard the call of St. Germain years before, and by many odd twists of fate eventually followed the bread crumbs to Coal Creek Canyon. My very first live channel was the epic “Awakening Game Show” and I sat there in shock, praying to never ever get that microphone!
Now I understand that my great deconstruction happened right on time. My purpose in this lifetime was not to be a famous singer, a great artist, a successful business person, or even a perfect housewife. I was not born to save the world or the people I love from their pain. My purpose is to remember who I Am, despite my dualistic human experiences (perhaps even through them), to let go of the illusions that limit me and to trust myself enough to allow my magic back in. I had to let go of everything I was not in order to remember who I am.
Ironically, this True Self has always been there! I can look back at my childhood photos and see Her shining through my eyes. The shine just got covered up by a whole lot of crappy beliefs.
Now, as I peel off the power programs, life is becoming very simple… magically so. I don’t have to strive for anything anymore. Even music is returning, which is a great joy and comfort; it is my gift to myself, rather than a means for external validation. Once I was an artist trying to make a living by selling art and teaching classes. Now my life is becoming an unexpected art form of its own, one that is painting itself. I don’t have to try. I don’t have to teach. I don’t have to do anything. The color and the energy come to me.
Perhaps the greatest gift of all is I am curious again. Lately, I’ve been starting each day with a deep sense of innocence. I am experiencing the rebirth of my magical child.
Donna Van Keuren writes a monthly blog describing some of her most poignant epiphanies, as well as the jokes she’s played on herself along the way. If you would like to share a few laughs and read her reflections on this crazy ride called embodied enlightenment, join her at www.lightthejourney.com/blog.