In Part 1 I shared how I made a bunch of predictions that came true. The following essay was written for a series about books that had an impact on me in 2021. The events in this essay take place one year after my initial (unnerving) intuitive discoveries.
At this point only a handful of trusted friends knew what was going on regarding my intuitive insights. I didn’t understand what was happening, so it was hard to talk to most people about it. Also, because I grew up in a highly-religious family, anything that was outside of the scope of the Bible was “evil.” That conditioning from a young age was definitely at odds with what I was experiencing.
Emotionally I was vacillating between: scientific curiosity and intrigue/wanting to learn everything I could, fear that if I talked about this in public people were going to think I was crazy and judge or abandon me, and, at the deepest level, I worried I was going crazy because there was no way what I was experiencing could be real.
How It Came to Me: It was New Year’s Eve of 2021, and I was with the five people I’d spent more time with than anyone else during the pandemic: my brewery friends and my boyfriend.
New Year’s Eve of 2020, we had a private party at the brewery and danced our faces off with twenty of our friends and family. Periodically throughout the night someone would chant “SPEECH” and we would make the brewer deliver an impromptu address. The drunker we got the funnier it was.
2021 we were deep in our pandemic bubble, cozied around the brewer’s dining-room table. Beers had been consumed. Maybe we’d already eaten dinner. Maybe we hadn’t. Someone chanted, “SPEECH. SPEECH. SPEECH.” The brewer declared we all must give a speech this year, and one by one we worked our way around the table. Mine began, “Well as we all know from last year, I’m pretty much psychic, and based on my intuition book exercises we’re halfway through the pandemic . . .”
Upon my speech’s conclusion the brewer asked, “Do you really think you’re psychic?”
“I’m not opposed to the thought,” I said, “but maybe a better word is intuitive? I’ve been working on that this year. Learning how to listen to my intuition better.”
The brewer stood, left the room, and returned with a book. “You should read this.” He handed me: Anatomy of the Spirit: The Seven Stages of Power and Healing by Caroline Myss.
The Guts of It: I flipped open the book on New Year’s, noted it was on its fifty-fourth printing, and came out in 1996. It felt like this was going to be a sipping book, so I waited to read it in earnest until I was in the quiet of my condo with a morning cup of tea. For the first half of the book, Myss shared her personal experiences with healing and power as she matched the seven chakras of Eastern belief to the sacraments of Western religions. She showed how all the belief systems followed the same flow of energy and evolution. The beliefs and sacraments ultimately led to a higher expression of self and an expanded way of looking at the world. The second half of the book explained how energy disturbances in the seven chakras impact physical health. I reached for my pen again and again wanting to underline or flag an important concept but then remembered the book was a loaner. So I ordered a copy for myself. It was definitely a sipping book; I didn’t finish it until the 26th of January.
How the Concepts Bled into Real Life: Months before reading the book, I had concluded there was energy-giving work and energy-draining work, and I only wanted to pursue the energy-giving work. I had stumbled into the energy-giving work a few times by accident, but it had always been blind luck. What I needed was a way to see the energy-generating ideas clearly—which was super odd, because as I’d been pondering this need to see something invisible, I started having eye problems.
The weekend after Christmas the left side of my face was so swollen it looked like I’d been in a bar fight. The optometrist diagnosed an eye infection that required antibiotics and a Vaseline-type ointment. He insisted it had nothing to do with my contacts or getting anything in my eye and said, “It just happens.” Well, I was reading the book the whole time I was taking my meds and wondering what’s this book going to say about eye illnesses? I made it to the sixth chakra and there the eyes turned up with the rest of the neurological system.
While my left eye healed, I tried to wrap my head around Myss’s idea that “Separating truth from illusion is more a task of the mind than of the brain. The brain commands the behavior of our physical body, but the mind commands the behavior of our energy body, which is our relationship to thought and perception.” I interpreted this as my analytical trained-by-school brain works on one level, but I need to use my mind to tap into that good energy. It’s a big wonky concept, and it was still in processing mode when I headed back to the eye doctor for my follow up. Great news: my left eye was, “All better, but uh oh. Wait a second looky there, you have a bruise in the back of your right eye.”
“How do you even get a bruise in the back of your eye?” I ask.
“Do you have diabetes?”
“High blood pressure?”
“Well, sometimes it just happens, but we’ll have you back in a bit to take another look and make sure it’s healed itself.”
Now I wasn’t particularly worried when I left but was not loving this mysterious come-back-to-the-eye-doctor game. I went home, flipped to the sixth chakra, and took another stab at the stuff Myss had to say. She wrote that the primary strength of this eye-impacting energy center is “Intellectual abilities and skills; evaluation of conscious and unconscious insights; receiving inspiration; generating great acts of creativity and intuitive reasoning—emotional intelligence.”
My mind was telling me that I was in the process of detaching from an outdated way of thinking. All that brain rewiring resulted in some growing pains, which manifested through my eyes. Since I didn’t want to keep seeing the optometrist every few months (He’s very nice, and Silver Foxy, but once a year is plenty for reals.), I needed to master this sixth chakra lesson. I hypothesized that once I understood it down to my bones my eyes would return to normal.
When the Lesson Made It into My Bones: While reading this book, I was also writing a non-fiction essay based on a lecture I teach to writers. It was the first time I’d attempted to put my business concepts into long form, and I had no idea what I was going to do with them. I finished writing the article the same day I finished reading Myss’s book.
The next day I was trying to figure out what to do with this article, and I decided to post it on Medium. It was a practical decision; if it got picked up by one of their publications it’d have a larger reach and help set me up as an industry expert. Very rational, sound-of-mind thinking that I was very meh about. That night as I was actually doing the work of posting the article to Medium it felt like moving through mud. It was slow drudgework that felt resistant, heavy, and dark. I left the night’s coworking session feeling depressed and drained.
The next morning, I was doing my morning human-ing, and the thought Send it to Jane Friedman popped into my head. Tingling rushed from my elbows, down through my forearms, and out the ends of my fingers. It was like the energy of the ideas that had temporarily been stored in my bones had outgrown me. Now the energy knew where it wanted to go, and it was shooting out through my fingertips. (Which now that I write this is a lot like what happens with the main character in The Color Eater.) My brain screamed, “You can’t send it to Jane Friedman. She’s Jane Friedman!” (For the nonwriters out there, Jane Friedman is the industry expert who agents, editors, publishers, and writers read. Hugely respected, if she says something is legit, it holds a ton of weight.) But my mind said, “Of course send it to Jane Friedman, it’s perfect for her audience. This is where the work needs to go.” I was paralyzed in this battle between my brain and my mind, and then it hit me:
This is what the good energy looks like. It’s vibrant and crazy, with a touch of scary-in-the-exciting-kind-of-way. It’s homed in and connected, and 1,000 percent the opposite of what it felt like when I was going through the steps of posting on Medium.
Book #1 was directing me to this feeling.
It was nine thirty a.m. I headed to my computer to pitch Jane before I lost my nerve. Three hours later she wrote back, “This looks like a great post. Send the full piece when ready?”
Jane published my post on February 8, 2021.
What Book #1 unlocked: This was the first step in finding the confidence to make decisions and follow through with action based upon intuition—especially when my intuition contradicted what my rational/analytical mind had accepted as truth.
p.s. Don’t worry about my eyes. I went back to the optometrist on March 29, and everything was as it should be.