Mindfucking My Way to Victory

Going on your journey–to grow beyond the limits of your ego and follow a path of your own development personally, psychologically, and professionally–requires a lot of courage, but it doesn’t come without a lot of fear, doubt, and even shame. This is about chasing after what you desire most, as opposed to fitting into a mold that society and your family chose for you. So many of us choose the socially acceptable relationship or job that doesn’t align with what we truly want, or what we want evolves (by the way, you’re allowed to change your mind), but we don’t know how to pivot.

Abandoning comfortable situations can feel like a relief and a terrifying freefall at the same time. Recent brain and nervous system research has shown us that we react to situations first by experiencing internal sensations in our bodies, then our bodies take action (screaming, crying), and lastly our brain determines what emotion is appropriate for the situation (scared, happy). The role of the brain is to create a story and meaning around the sensations of our bodies. So if we have butterflies in our tummies or tightness in our chest, our brain may tell us that we’re making a mistake and need to make a U-turn to go back to “safety.” 

The contradiction in what my soul wants and how my brain is reacting is a bit of a mindfuck. I know my soul is choosing life when my nervous system wants to keep me safe and prevent me from dying, quite literally.

I have made a conscious decision to continue following my soul.

“Heaven and hell are within us, and all the gods are within us.”

Joseph Campbell

Joseph Campbell enlightened Americans in the late 80’s through his Power of Myth series on PBS that turned everything we know about religion and myth upside down. While we grew up being told that we all go to either heaven or hell when we die, Campbell showed us that this Biblical teaching was simply a metaphor–heaven and hell aren’t physical places; they’re inside us. We create our own heaven and hell, and yes, gods are within us, not separate beings roaming about in the sky.

The other day I summoned a powerful goddess archetype who makes me feel like I retain the power in my life. That I have agency. That I can call forth the things I want most and live the life I truly desire. I was feeling particularly nervous that day about the swarm of big changes I am calling into my life. Instinctively I knew I must summon my Huntress who could snap me out of it. I went to the dance studio to my weekly S Factor class in advanced feminine movement. I chose a song that had an emotional quality of victory. I wore jeans and danced barefooted. My Artemis showed up right on time. She was irritated and fiery because the “small” me who wants to hide is getting in her way. In S Factor, this inner erotic creature is called the Dangerous Challenger— a warrior archetype who is fierce and protective. She continues to protect me from getting in my own way.

I walked away from the studio that evening with a renewed sense of self. The “returning home” never stops. As much as I would love to say that this practice is one-and-done, nothing in life is ever that easy. The world is full of suffering, and it’s more confusing than ever to be alive today. One suffering is traded for another. But the journey of the self is cumulative. We build upon the lessons learned, spiraling closer and closer to the center. You can choose a life of suffering with no meaning and devoid of spirituality, or you can choose to accept the inevitable suffering, taking advantage of every opportunity to grow and follow your bliss.

Sometimes it’s as simple as summoning the inner goddess archetype who embodies the qualities and the strengths that you need in any given moment. Visualizing that inner guide, we can ask them to be our ally. A sacred practice can help us to enter the landscape of our psyche and welcome the forces that help us when we need the most. Dancing, meditative journaling, forest walks, painting–there is no limit two how we interact with these treasured goddesses.

I am training to become a Jungian life coach so that I can guide women on their journeys to reconnect with their spiritual life force and divine femininity. Come 2023, I will combine coaching with feminine movement to show women how to reconnect with their bodies and reclaim their power through erotic dance. The inner work of the Jungian approach and the movement practice of S Factor reinforce one another in a way that has changed my life and I know will change yours. This is what it looks like to continually re-discover yourself and break free of old patterns.