At the beginning of 2015, I had thought this year was here to mark a new chapter in my life – a turning point of some kind.
I had thought it would be all about forging forward, creating anew and rising to brand new heights.
But life had other ideas.
As I look back on 2015 what I can now see is that it was a year of unravelling, destruction and reviewing the past (over and over) so that core lessons could be learned.
It was a year of healing and of needing to face what I wanted to deny. I had to evaluate everything in my life and go through it all with a fine tooth comb – assessing what I wanted to keep and what I wanted to release.
And in order to do so, I was guided deeply inwards.
This was my year to really face all of the inner demons I had been running from. To heal the core ego patterns that were sabotaging my life. To transmute fear into love. To shine a bright light upon my inner darkness. To bring all of the crap up to the surface so it could be released once and for all.
Inner transformation is not for the faint hearted. This has been a confronting, challenging and at times heart-breaking year.
But I am so proud of the commitment I have shown to my own inner awakening and spiritual growth. This was a year that had to happen and I know that the core work I did, will never need to be repeated.
Life is all about learning
If I have realised one thing it is that we are not here to create an external pretty façade where each area of life looks perfect, shiny and glossy like something out of a magazine.
Life is messy. Yes it is delicious, beautiful and magical but sometimes it is also hard.
It is a crazy contradiction.
I think when we strive for perfection in our external life, we avoid the powerful inner journey we are here to experience.
If you are skipping the inner stuff, it is only a matter of time before cracks start to appear in your external world, which will bring you to your knees and force you to go inwards.
I’ve realised for me, that 2015 was much more about the core inner lessons, personal transformation and spiritual awakening, than it was about the achievement and attainment of goals and desires.
This type of stuff is far less glamorous. It does not look as pretty on your instagram account. And it is confronting for people standing by you who would rather see you rosy cheeked and smiling.
But this is what makes life real. This is what makes us real people. We are real when we are experiencing the full spectrum of emotion – the highs and lows of life and when we are willing to dive deep to really uncover the truth behind it all.
When the external world crumbles…
This year, I watched many areas of my external world crumble and this was a necessary process in helping me burn up all the ego based attachment, fear and need that surrounded them.
I felt so frustrated at many times this year, as I yearned to expand and move into new territory.
But rather I was forced to re-visit, re-adjust and make core foundational changes. Old issues resurfaced over and over and over until the lesson they were here to teach me was received.
As Pema Chodron says “Nothing goes away until it teaches us what we need to know”
Many my external desires and goals were not achieved this year, but you know what, I don’t actually care.
If anything, stuff was actually taken away. I was stripped bare. All the distractions of the external world were removed, to get me to finally sit with and face the one thing I had been running from – myself.
The inner transformation I experienced this year has been radical to say the least, but I can honestly say that I am so damn proud of the woman I have become.
Lessons on Love
Much like in 2014, love came in to my life, and then left. This helped me witness all the ways I ‘needed’ this love. As love came in and then was taken away, I was able to observe my reaction. When the love arrived I became attached and addicted, and lived in fear of the day it would disappear.
I saw how elated I would become when someone wanted me, and when I received male attention, and then how anxious I would become when that love was gone.
I was able to see how much I depended on external love to make me feel safe, secure and good about myself
I witnessed patterns of control that still needed to be healed. I saw how I would manipulate a man or a situation in order to get what I wanted, how I would try to control him or the situation so I could feel safe, and how I would wait anxiously by my phone to hear from him or replay all the lovely things he said to me in my mind over and over.
Yep, I was still addicted to that love. It was my drug. And I needed to experience men playing these various roles for me so I could witness this pattern and finally heal it.
And it was through all of this that I truly began to understand that love is not outside of me. Love does not come from another. Love is not something I need to get.
I am love. I am the source of the love I seek.
Lessons on Business
Oh business. I started the year with epic plans. I had huge dreams and visions of what I wanted to create in my business this year.
And then something happened.
It was around March/April when my inner guidance began speaking at me in full force to step away. “Step away?” I thought. “Step away from the one thing that has brought me more joy than anything else? Step away from the dream that I have been working towards for years? Close my coaching calendar? Say what!?“
But I followed it’s guidance and I spent a lot of this year, saying the one precious word that I would never normally say – “No”. I had to say no to others so I could say yes to myself. I had to turn down commitments. I radically reduced my coaching load. I took extended breaks from social media and blogging.
Part of me tried to forge on, but the energy around my work had literally dried up. The stream had stopped. I would sit in front of a blank word document and stare. Nothing moved through me. Writing was like pumping a dry well. The inspiration was gone and all I could do was wait for it to return.
Once again, life didn’t want distractions. It didn’t want me focusing on others or focusing on my work.
It wanted me to focus on me.
It needed me fully facing everything within me and not using my business as a way to avoid myself.
As I detached from my business, I watched my ego squirm. I realised how tightly my sense of worth had been tied up in my work. I saw how addicted I was to the validation of my peers and audience. I saw my attachment to outcomes and how I let figures, results, statistics and dollar signs tell me how valuable I was. I saw the identity I had created as ‘Connie Chapman the Life Coach’, and I realised that without that title I had no idea who I was.
All of this had to be faced in the name of authenticity. Because I could not dare move forward as the teacher, guide, healer and coach I know I am destined to be, with all this ego shit lurking in the background.
I had to release the business so I could release the ego that surrounded it.
And here I discovered that I am not what I do. I am not my job title. I am not my achievements. None of these things mean anything about me.
My work is my platform for joy and self-expression. It is not a playground for my ego.
Lessons on Myself
My biggest lessons this year have been around surrender, letting go and releasing.
Surrendering my way and my plan, and instead following the higher plan.
Releasing ego patterns of attachment, need and fear and transforming these patterns into love.
Letting go of external love, success, validation and results and learning how to feel full within, despite what is happening around me.
Witnessing, catching and watching all of the ways my fear-driven ego has been keeping me small, powerless and limited. Seeing all of it’s games with confronting clarity.
All of this has been burnt up in a violet flame of love, all that is left is gold.
What is left is pure. It is real. It is truth.
I have been pulled deeply into the core of myself, and my connection with myself is now stronger than it has ever been. I am solid, tuned in and centred.
I know who I am. I know what I want.
And as I sit here on New Years Eve, I can finally look in the mirror and feel like myself again. Yes, Connie is back.
My year of preparation is done. The lessons have been learnt. The growth has been experienced. The radical transformation is complete.
Many seeds were planted in 2015 that were not ready to spout. All year I have been the gentle gardener, tending to my soil, nurturing my seeds, allowing them to incubate and strengthen and grow deep roots in to the earth. Sitting with them and lovingly tending to them until they are ready.
And 2016 is the year to harvest. The soil is ripe. The seeds are plump with life. The sun is shining. The world is ready to see what has been hiding beneath the surface for so long.
I can’t wait to re-emerge and share all of this with you.
Here’s to a magical, love-filled, beautiful and awe-inspiring year.
Thank you for your endless love and support for the work I do. You mean the world to me.