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-AUTHOR & IGNITER of THE FLAME-
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Updated: Jun 30, 2020
On the world stage, in spiritual circles, 2012 held a lot of weight. Leading up to the “big year”, were reports the world would end, a big polar ice-cap shift would occur, the day would turn dark and all non-enlightened souls would disappear to some other dimension...
I'd heard it all and watched the YouTubes. In my life, on the third floor, we prepared for the next big thing. My temp job at Citizens League turned permanent. I finally had benefits. I commuted to work across the alley from LL. A feeling of "have arrived" permeated my existence. I got to network with a lot of influential folks in the Twin Cities. I belonged somewhere and had community.
I felt close to some major breakthroughs and read a lot of Abraham-Hicks. My friend and I attempted to save money by getting more into cooking for ourselves. I bought a few cookbooks and we had grand plans to cook meals together and make lunches in advance as well as freezer meals. I bought a bunch of stuff to do it. In reality, I still didn’t care enough about food or cooking to make it last. Buying groceries without a car was a chore. Or I’d run out of money, get tired or just want to go out and have fun.
I bought some business cards and thought I’d make money running Access Consciousness Bars or doing Akashic Record readings. I’d get a few clients or do trades, but nothing really came of it. I’d imagine spending money on advertising or a website, if I could just get my head above water long enough.
Lowertown’s summer festivals and Thursday night music became a staple that year. The music was amazing and the community even better. Live (and free) Jazz, Blues, Bluegrass...Mears Park burst forth with cacophony of delectable sounds and diverse talents from all over the world. An eclectic framework upon which to heal and co-create a better future.
I made the decision to finally bring my stuff from California during the summer. I ventured home in August, packed up the things I felt I needed. Boxed the rest for charity. No doubt a sense of euphoria invaded my space. I had Paid Time-Off and I could prove that I could make it work in the Twin Cities.
Things may have been shaky financially, and I couldn’t pay all my bills. I loved someone who was dating someone else. I had a lot of opinions about it. In the meantime, I got revenge by making my own quasi-sacred connections. Biding my time until everything fell into place and magically resolved. Mostly,it was a chore and a calling to heal others. I didn't feel I had a choice.
Outside of my best friend with whom I continued to do healing work, I got into the bicycle community that is so vibrant in the Twin Cities. 30-Days of Biking and the Freedom from Pants ride hallmarked a new wave of social acquaintances, festivals and crazy antics. I found intoxicating liberation in taking off my pants and wearing a bikini or bra and panties with a gang bike contingent in even fewer clothes.
Dancing at Club Jager and other venues like First Ave’s Record Room. Dealing with the darkness that I felt pervaded the cities. Darkness that was outside of myself – entities, forces outside my control, negative people. Internally, I desperately wanted approval and love. This constant feeling of “not good enough” pervaded my existence. Why was I in this place – the Twin Cities – if the right guy didn’t notice or care; the people didn’t get advanced spirituality; I had to hide my true nature or not have friends; my money situation never took off; I continued to ask for money each month from my parents and no one would hire me for more than what I saw as minimum pay.
The spiritual community that did exist in the Twin Cities suffered from an extreme case of poverty consciousness. Most of them couldn’t stand corporations and eked out a living with businesses or odd jobs. Facebook posts about bad employers and people who took advantage, or some calamity or other which befell them, were not uncommon. Myself included.
By the conclusion of 2012, the big move over, the job’s honeymoon phase well past, a growing dissatisfaction with waiting for the guy to “figure himself out.” I decided to make this big all-encompassing announcement of singularity. In a letter. “You just don’t deserve me or get me!,” may have been the theme. Not sure what I expected to have come of that. Perhaps undying devotion or a revelation. I didn’t need men! Except I was lonely and sad and doing it felt strong for only about 2 minutes. The shaky ground I was on, soon to reveal itself as the New Year dawned.
If 2012 had this context of euphoria and arrival, 2013 was categorized for me as a year of major upheaval. First off, the healing we were doing and the questions I was asking the Universe were leading to something unexpected. Change. We think we want change, we ask for it, we beg for it when things are hard and then when it happens we are like, “No I didn’t mean like that.”
This is the one thing I have been made aware of and experienced directly, change does not happen in the way we imagine it will and often it is not the comfortable version we created on a vision board or wrote down. We don’t always understand with the mind a cause and effect. We fight it because it doesn’t seem to overtly solve our problem in a nice tidy way.
Change is by definition, nonlinear. Except, I maintained a belief in control and perfection during this time. That was the hard part. I feel now that I was blinded by this to the opportunities. My internalized shame and trauma, had me justifying, finding fault, and turning it in on myself.
In February, things started breaking down at the Citizen’s League for me. I couldn’t explain it. A job I once loved was both boring to me and upsetting. Changes made to administrative aspects that probably were in the best interest of the non-profit, only added to my issues. My job functions were unceremoniously taken away and others added. I later learned that was normal for non-profits – the budgets are small, and people are required to be adaptable. I wasn’t quite interested in the direction we were taking and most definitely not adaptable. I took things personally.
Before I could even think of looking for something else, the situation blew up and I was out the door. The job paid $18 an hour minus the cost of benefits. The benefits I hardly ever used because I couldn’t afford the deductible. My unemployment was $9/ hour. I was already living beyond my means most of the time.
I took this hard at first. I may have had to cut back on going to Trattoria when I had to pay my phone or cable bill, but I also didn’t really cook. I didn’t enjoy cooking. It felt like a chore. I was tired. I preferred the noise and bustle. I felt alone and afraid and being out helped me avoid these feelings and assuage them simultaneously.
I also liked creating situations where someone else would pay for some or all of my drinks and food.
The banging and the closet
I remember one particular week in which they were installing what I assume were pylons for the electrical cables into the ground around the lightrail construction. It involved banging and drilling. My job hunt was stalled. I hadn’t had an interview. I didn’t have money. The constant loud banging of the machines was repetitive and loud. There was nowhere to go. This was all day long for days in a row.
I was on the phone with my friend crying in my walk-in closet at the apartment. Snot and tears coming down my face. I wanted to die. The walk-in closet was the only place you couldn’t hear the jarring noise quite as badly. My bones shook.
St Paul reflecting change
The old Gillette building, long an eyesore, was torn down to make way for what would by 2015 be CHS Field, a local baseball park and event facility. West 7th was going through its own transformations near the Xcel Center, home of The Wild Hockey and a concert venue. Buildings that once housed government offices or art studios were quietly (or not so quietly) being bought up by land developers and turned into luxury apartments.
While this transformation process happened slowly over many years, we knew our sleepy little town was becoming something else. At one point a Northern Lights art installation showcased street performers lamenting gentrification. Protesters attempted to stop the sale of the JAX building where artists had long-time studios. These voices were interesting and perhaps provocative, and yet nothing we did slowed the pace of creation.
Anger about the job loss and long period of unemployment, with even more restricted finances gave way to a drive in me to find solutions. I can’t always say they came from an altruistic place. I donated to Citizens League but only because I wanted to be annoying. Despite the fact I hadn’t really wanted to be there anymore I was still angry that I didn’t choose the ending date on my own. I was angry I couldn’t do much and that I didn’t feel normal.
I was using chiropractic care and acupuncture to assist with my immune system. I spent money on that instead of food some days, or instead of rent.
Work and self
As the changes proliferated through downtown, my friendship’s deepened both at the curling club and with residents in Lowertown. New faces moved into the building and surrounding buildings. Our Trattoria hang-outs got bigger and more boisterous. By the end of 2013, as summer turned to winter, we were socializing together frequently. I changed temp agencies and picked up what was supposed to be a long-term assignment at Catholic Charities in Minneapolis. It lasted less than a month. According to the over-controlling and domineering CAO, I wasn't Executive Assistant material. Later, I got a short term medical relief position at Minnesota State Colleges and Universities in downtown. It paid $15 an hour.
Financially I was tanking and fast. My parents were increasingly upset that I "couldn't keep it together and couldn't keep a job. Why had they spent money moving me if it was going to be like this..."
The pressure was mounting. I decided to do something about it. I was going to go back to school...the folks at Trattoria may have been the first to hear of my plans. One day, while researching business schools all over the country, I saw an ad on a bus in front of the apartment. St Catherine University was starting their new MBA. Within a few short weeks, I'd obtained my transcripts, written an essay and applied. Would I get in? That was the answer I didn't know quite yet. I just knew something had to change and it had to be BIG.
#wellbeing #wellness #MSP #StPaul #familytrauma #innerwork #energy #energyclearing #selfempowerment #connectiontoself #threedimensionaltherapy #Transformation #change #mind #mindbodyconnection #ancestraltrauma #soul #emotionalsupport #story #Journey #process #Spirituality #intuition #SacredJourney #creative #selflove #NineHouses
Updated: Jun 30, 2020
Characters of Lowertown, My Neighbor - 2011-2013
One thing that categorized my many years spent living in Lowertown Lofts were all the people I met, characters of one sort or another. In the early years in my apartment facing Mears Park, the building’s leasing assistant put on get-togethers of one variety or another on a regular basis. While some of the residents were transient, only staying a few months to a year, others renewed their leases year after year.
In the first couple of years, the city was in the process of building the Green Line lightrail from Minneapolis to St Paul. The first change which impacted us residents were that cars could no long go both ways on 4th street (behind the apartment). The area now occupied by train tracks become a construction zone. A noisy one at that!
My next-door neighbor at the time was a rather handsome and strapping engineer on the project. Dark hair, brooding composure. Muscles for days.
He had moved into town from some other state or place (I don’t remember) to facilitate his work. My neighbor, when he wasn’t working was often seen in the local watering holes like Bulldog, Barrio and Trattoria. We didn’t have a whole lot of restaurants in this part of town at the time. St. Paul was sleepy and quiet. Most people left on weekends.
My beautiful neighbor was good with the young ladies who’d frequent our night spots. Good enough that several times a week, I’d hear the noises of banging, crashing, moaning and ass-smacking through the paper-thin wall that adjoined our apartments. I learned the hard way that my perfect spot for meditation and tranquility wasn’t going to be so tranquil.
I heard him one day lamenting that he didn’t understand how someone could make noise complaints for doing what came naturally for a young single guy like himself.
There was me trying to keep a job longer than a few months or weeks, do spiritual work and healing. Meditate. Write in my journal. Sleep. I wasn’t always so understanding of my neighbor and created a lot of separation in my mind with him.
When the lightrail was completed and opened in June of 2014, I’d had a few chance encounters with him at the rooftop pool although we didn't do much but nod in each other's direction. He drank a lot and boasted loudly.
He eventually found a steady girlfriend, although their fights and make-ups were epic drama. When he moved out in 2013 -- to take another job, I’d come to miss him. Especially when it came to who moved in next.
My first full-time job
I joined Citizens League as their new Office Manager in November of 2011 after I switched temp agencies. I helped them move to a co-working space that was newly located in the building behind Lowertown Lofts, on 4th street. We were housed in the CoCo space (Now Fueled Collective).
My project management abilities and previous experience fit nicely at the time with what needed to be accomplished.
I’d been working with a BodyTalk professional on and off, along with another friend, Kris who did the same modality. BodyTalk is a modality that works on connecting the energy systems of the body. We focused on my immune system -I was frequently sick – and what might be blocking me from steady employment and were excited when my list of perfect job qualities manifested at Citizen's League. At first, my job was enlightening, exciting and friendly. I really felt at home.
I thought having a steady job would finally solve some of my long-standing issues with being in and out of work and help me to get back on my feet. In a way, it did but I was severely under-earning and I still couldn’t pay all my bills even with a steady job.
I also felt increasing bored with being the office admin as time continued but wasn't ready to choose anything else, yet.
Other healing paths I found at the time which would prove to be helpful on my journey of growth were Access Consciousness and Abraham-Hicks, of which I read all her published books at the time. While I didn’t know how to work myself into something else, I figured I could visualize myself into greater and greater spheres of success. My visions boards of cars, wedding rings and money lined the walls. My friend and I would work together on our wish lists and ideals.
The Watering Holes
Back to Lowertown’s nightlife and neighbors. I frequented the art crawls and outdoor festivals as much as possible. I often took the bus to events in Minneapolis, like the DJ nights at the once thriving Club Jager. Or attended concerts at First Ave. Given my lack of interest in cooking, I’d be found at the few restaurants we had at the time. One of these was Trattoria da Vinci.
It was here that I ate many a homestyle Italian meal while chatting with neighbors. It was “the” spot for many of us to congregate, especially on Friday and Saturday nights. We didn’t even need each other’s numbers – you could find most of the who’s who of Lowertown there on any given night of the week. We may not have been the Minneapolis A-listers but we had our own brand of élan. We told stories, ate meals, drank the copious cocktails of our amazing bartender, Dana and maybe, on several occasions kept each other alive through thick and thin.
I won’t say there wasn’t our fair share of scandals – cheaters and scoundrels, one-night stands talked about liberally in the weeks after, drunken slobbery escapades and more. Some bonds were ephemeral and others long-lasting, and yet my favorite memories of Lowertown can probably be boiled down to nights at Trattoria.
Fear and self-loathing cloaked in metaphysical spirituality and self-help
Still, the theme of that time as I became more familiar with my surroundings and before I owned a car, certainly included a fair amount of grappling with the weather. Slipping on sidewalks, huddling in the cold waiting for a bus that never came. Learning which clothes would keep me warm, and which did not.
Fears of one sort or another were front and center. My parents paid most of my bills and I lived on the remainder of my all too small paychecks throughout that time. I believed it was the micro-ness of my paychecks that was the problem. I didn’t consider moving from my too expensive apartment or that there might be another way to exist -- for all the reasons already mentioned here. To me, right around the corner, was the SOLUTION I just hadn’t gotten to yet.
At the curling club, I improved my skills year-by-year. I also watched a lot of curling because it was there I could socialize and observe people who fascinated me. I forged new friendships. At the same time, I felt I was deficient in some way that required me to spend an inordinate amount of time healing and healing others.
My conversations with psychics (whom I thought of as trusted advisors and friends) was “I don’t know why he doesn’t like me or why he is avoiding me,” and the feeling running through my body was fear, coupled with self-loathing coupled with dread I’d never be enough for anything. The very idea of not being liked triggered days of sadness and a lack of homeostasis.
I didn’t date much, I fell into things that showed up. I hoped every time they would deliver me from this unique path of suffering I was on. A person's potential and overwhelming feelings of spiritual connection generated my insights. These were backed-up by the equally scarred friends whose supportive “readings” confirmed my latest feelings as they desperately wanted to believe in rescue by romance.
The by default quickie romance was both jarring and devastating as it was quick-lived. It was either that or passing judgement on all those who made poor choices, I would never make. That level of superiority, ubiquitous in metaphysical/spiritual circles made it easy to avoid the very real pain of my circumstance. The other thing that showed up were guys I thought of as "just friends." I got pretty good at not being attracted to them. My heart and soul occupied elsewhere. Still, at least I wasn't lonely.
Coaching & Truth-telling
I found myself coaching and telling people what to do – I became familiar with feeling stronger by knowing better what other people should or should not be doing. “Wow, so and so just had an affair right in front of their spouse, maybe if they just loved themselves better, they wouldn’t be such a douchebag.”
Lowertown in those early years was both a salve and a playground for epic tales of self-aggrandizement. The next big thing, the better, more romantic boyfriend, the husband that never showed up, the job that would solve my financial problems. At the end of this period, I was unemployed, and most definitely single. The love of my life unmistakenly out of reach.
This isn't to say that I didn't have fun. I took my personal trainer, Amanda to a day at the racetrack in Wisconsin organized by my curling buddy Rik in August 2013. We ate corn and peaches. We toured 45th Parallel Distillery
Amanda got me into the best shape I've ever been in that summer and I ran her Access Consciousness Bars and we both complained about work. Now she runs a thriving personal training business. I spent days at the rooftop pool with its views of the cityscape of St Paul. I walked the Mississippi River. I danced all over town. Minneapolis-St Paul had this newness to it, in which everything I did was fascinating and surreal; adventurous. I felt I was in Minnesota for a purpose. Even if that purpose was fixing someone else.
In the next blog, I’ll write about the move to the sixth floor, more Lowertown characters and going back to school all of which happened in the latter part of my Lowertown Lofts experience.
#boundaries #BodyTalk #financialhealth #Healing #breakthrough #frustrations #StPaul #Minneapolis #MSP #ancestraltrauma #Curling #innerwork #mind #selfhelp #energy #energyclearing #soul #connectiontoself #wellness #wellbeing #familytrauma #family #health #betterchoices #Transformation #romance #career #learning #patterns #empath #bestself #Writing