There’s an old Irish story that says that over in HeavenTown, each soul walks up to God and tells God exactly what it wants its human life to look like.
The souls request the specific bliss and tragedies they want to experience on Earth. And God, being all beneficent and easy-going says, “Sure thing, sweetheart!” and gives each soul exactly what they’ve asked for.
So let’s roll with that concept for a moment and talk about the Phoenix.
We all know the story. She’s a bird who dies to be reborn, over and over. And since we’re sticking with the Irish narrative above, the Phoenix has not been forced to be a Phoenix.
She knew what she was doing when she chose to stand in the Phoenix section of the Cosmic Checkout Line. Clear choice. “I choose to be a Phoenix”.
PART I: DEATH.
The Phoenix is constantly reinventing herself. Each death gives way to an even stronger version of who she came to Earth to be.
And because she so clearly chose this particular incarnation, the Phoenix doesn’t just chill and passively watch the movie of her life from five rows back, while munching on kettle corn.
She is IN her transformation.
She stays at the center of the flames. She doesn’t run for the full bathtub when she smells her own flesh charring. She is actively involved in her disintegration, in the destruction she chose.
Transformation is an ACTIVE process.
The orange Phoenix flames come to burn away what no longer serves you, what you’ve outgrown. And if you are not actively engaged in this dismantling, your knuckles will sizzle in the burn, but remain clenched onto the very thing that needs to be released.
You need to DO stuff as the things in your life are dying (relationships, jobs, unhealthy habits and toxic thought forms).
Your ‘doing-ness’ creates momentum. It affirms that you’re ready for the dying skin cells to fully flake off. You’re telling the universe, “Mama, I know this needs to go. Take it from me.”
If you aren’t actively participating in your own transformation, well, you won’t actually transform. Even worse, the qualities that are supposed to die will sink even deeper into the arteries of your psyche and calcify. And the toxicity of “I will always be this way” thinking will never really leave you.
What does actively engaging in your own holy-destruction look like?
It’s anything that keeps you IN the process, instead of taking you out of it.
- Listen to the saddest songs you can find.
- Vent to someone you trust.
- Go into the backyard and pound the earth (she can take it).
- Sink onto your knees and cry so hard you start to choke.
- Sit with an animal and whisper your sadness to it.
- Write a list of all the things you want to throw into the flames – everything that needs to be gone, unhooked, deleted. Include the tiniest details, and every associated memory. Then, burn the list. Shred that mother.
It helps to remind yourself that this darkness is temporary. This is a time for aching, grieving, burning. And like all things, its time will end.
And do not apologize to the spiritually shiny for stepping into the heaviness of these smokey days. Or for the blisters that are forming – the ones that will take a long time to heal. Never apologize for your Phoenix fire.
This is where that cliché motivational saying has it right: You’ve gotta be IN it, to WIN it.
PART II: REBIRTH
The Phoenix isn’t only concerned with fire and destruction. She is actively engaged in her rebirth, too.
The reforming of limbs and tendons. Feathers pushing through fresh flesh for the first time – again. The first flight – again.
How will you actively participate in your rebirth, in the emergence of the person you are NOW, after the flames have subsided?
- Make a new playlist – one that makes you beam and shimmy.
- Send someone you love a note that says: I love my life!
- Sign up for a dance class.
- Claim your Self with an Instagram selfie.
- Get a library card and actually use it.
- Buy a new dress.
- Start wearing lipstick again.
- Throw yourself a party.
Try new things. Resurrect the old hobbies and dreams you abandoned in exchange for ‘Busy’ and ‘Cool’. Choose life-affirming, uplifting thoughts and devote yourself to sustaining these new habits.
Transformation does not just plop itself down on your doorstep. You must meet it halfway.
The Phoenix shows up for the work of her recreation. She stays the course, because she knows she’s worth it. Every time.
Be who you are.
Be a Phoenix.