My identity crisis struck unexpectedly in mid-December. I went on a lovely family holiday, and the plan was to enjoy myself. Instead, it was as if
I woke up from a trance. Staring at my reflection in the mirror, I asked how, or even why, I let myself go like this? Trying to be kind to myself the best I could, I fretted about all my extra weight, which incidentally I have been carrying for over a decade. Exercising daily helped, and so did all the healing techniques I know, but something irreversible was set into motion the day I woke up.
After a two week break, on 1 January I logged into my website and found out it was down. Pushing mild irritation away, I message the IT company that hosts my website to find out what was going on. The answer transpired a couple of days later. Apparently something went wrong with the domain name, when the IT company moved my website across. And for a while, it looked like the domain name gularavincent.com was gone for good.
By then my whole family and I were terribly ill. Sleep gone out of the window. Instead, I tended to two poorly children and spent either shaking or burning up all night long. There’s nothing like a serious flu to put things into perspective. The glitch with my website faded into insignificance.
Once I started recovering, I asked an IT-literate friend to help make sense of the mess. As I do, I also turned within. I had a session with an amazing Charlotte Kanyi to explore what was the significance of this glitch.
‘There’s something in the name….’ I kept saying as we started our session.
As we went deeper, I started asking bigger questions: Who am I on the blog? Why am I doing what I am doing? What do I really really want?
You see, when I started blogging in October 2014, it came from a place of ‘should’. I was working on a book, and needed to build an author platform. Don’t get me wrong – it was a great decision. I made lots of friends across the world, learnt to be visible, and to speak up. But there was no consistency. My posts were all over the place. Then last summer, I was working with a business mentor. She tried to help me to align my blogging with my 1:1 service. For a while, I blogged about writing path and its challenges. I had another growth spurt, but it still wasn’t ‘it’. Perhaps, for my regular readers it was even confusing. What was that sudden shift about? Who is she?
And so in my session, I sat with that question myself. I realised that the frustration of not getting anywhere with my blogging was to do with the fact that I was still searching for who I am. Why am I doing this? I asked. It was an uncomfortable and potentially inconvenient question. By then I had written nine blog posts and developed a short e-course for the coming three months. All I needed to do is to schedule them all in when the website was back on and I was good to go till the intense teaching period at work was over. By the end of my session, none of it felt right anymore. Those posts came from the ‘old’ me who was doing them because she ‘should’. The new ‘awakened’ part wanted to tell stories.
‘Something in the name….’ I mumbled as we were wrapping up the session, and Charlotte took me through Non-Personal Awareness sequence.
The answer came straight away. ‘I need to write in the name of love.’
Ah, the relief and joy of clarity. And guess what. Three days later, my domain name was restored.
But I had no time to celebrate. Again, life gave me a rude awakening, forcing me to put things into perspective. One of my most significant relationships wobbled. The shock, confusion and sadness set it. It was as if I was challenged all over again to ask ‘Who am I?’ If this relationship goes, what would remain? Who would remain? The truth is I got too comfortable in that relationship. From my perspective, it was solid as a rock. Leaning into it, I was doing everything else and stopped paying it the attention it deserved. In short, I was taking it for granted.
Waking up can be painful, but staying asleep is even worse, especially when it’s not an option anymore.
So where does it leave my blog? I’m taking one day at a time, and learning to focus on what’s really important: health, family, relationships, harmony, inner peace…. Down with the regular posting schedule, and scrambling for something meaningful to say. Perhaps there will be nothing for a while. I’ll find out together with you while I’m sitting with the question of ‘Who am I?’.
It’s a big question to ask. Although the last month has been gruelling and I feel like I’m in the thick of a mid-life crisis, I’m glad I’m asking big questions. The cost of staying numb and deadened on the inside is too high. Sometimes, an identity crisis can be a blessing in disguise, even if it doesn’t feel like that in the moment.
The Guest House by Rumi
This being human is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all! Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows, who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture, still, treat each guest honourably. He may be clearing you out for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet them at the door laughing, and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.