Top Ten Cosmic Downloads of 2017
2017 was a transformative year for me. For starters, I quit my job and found my purpose. I deepened my spiritual practices and fell in love with God. I stopped drinking booze, and I saw my work published by two different media outlets. I wrote a whole book. I discovered a new passion for plants, meaning in my meditation, and a gigantic sense of love for all of humanity.
I’m knee-deep into Allie 2.0, (tbh, probably something like 200.0, but you catch my drift), and I think she is really rad. As I was driving back to the abode, after a trip to my home away from home, the Cupertino Public Library, with a book haul of epic proportions comprised of wildly different subject matter (tomes of poetry, all of Joan Didion’s work—waaaaay into her right now—, two books on reiki energy healing, and a healthy smattering of books on dyslexia and autism), I realized that I had learned so many lessons this year, and I would be remiss if I didn’t jot them down. I like to think of these moments/ideas/phrases as cosmic downloads, which to me means they are just little pieces of software dropped into my human mainframe...but, if that is too freaky deaky for you, just call it a life lesson. Same diff. I must say this practice will be a selfish endeavor, as I hope to look back on these when I need a little pick-me-up throughout 2018, but I thought maybe one or two of them may resonate, help, or inspire.
1. It’s cool to say no to things, but figure out why you are saying no. Boundaries without purpose are just walls of separation.
This was a tricky one to learn, and something I am working on continuously. The current messaging out there right now is “set your boundaries, set more boundaries, and set boundaries around those boundaries.” I think that is very valid, and a very important message, but I implore everyone to question everything, especially your boundaries. Why are you creating it—will that boundary truly serve you—physically, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually—in the long run, or will it serve to separate you or keep you comfortable? Is it a boundary created out of love for yourself and others, or is it a boundary set in fear of what is on the other side? That’s been the big Q i’ve been working on finding an A for each time I have a knee-jerk “no” reaction. Real-world example: am I saying no to adding an extra day in San Francisco into my schedule to “preserve my energy and sacred writing time” as I have written the narrative thus far, or am I just comfortable with the way things are, and feeling a bit lazy in the the reconfiguring of my weeks (it’s the latter, cough cough cough)? Yeah. A no said out of fear is not fun, and it generally creates many moments for rumination and self-doubt as a result.
2. You’ll know because it will flow.
Oh yes. Flow has been something I’ve been intensely interested in during 2017, and this interest will undoubtedly carry into 2k18. Turns out, your soul’s purpose has always been there, even though you might not have known what it was. Other people’s wishes for your future, your egoic mind, and societal constraints may have muffled it, but it is present, underneath that kerfuffle. You’ll know what it is because it doesn’t require you to push any buttons or turn any knobs. There is no onus when you carry your purpose. You don’t worry about the outcome of the thing, because the act of doing/making/performing the thing is so sacred to you. It flows. You know you are swimming in the right stream when it blissfully whisks you away.
3. Whilst doubting/fearing myself into a spiral: What’s the worst thing that can happen, anyways? Whatever it is, you’ll learn from it.
Truth: I have a waning fear of flying, primarily because I have control issues. I want to be in control of things because my mind doesn’t trust other people, places, and things to work out in my best interest (hence my GAD diagnosis in 2017). One of the best questions I can ask myself in my dark spirals (which are less frequent but still occasionally pop up) is: “What is the worst thing that can happen? For real, the worst of the worst? Like, least optimal/most like a plot line in a Series of Unfortunate Events?” I get stung by the bee, cool. My plane malfunctions, alright. I say the wrong thing in the email and I lose the client, okay. If you can ascribe to a soul-trust in Universal alignment (which I have now, thank God), you quickly realize that even if the “shitty” thing, however bad it is, happens, it will give you the lesson to steer your ship in the right direction once more. “But what if I die, Allie?” I can hear you saying that now, because my mind screams that one to me all the damn time. I think I may die at least once a week. Well, I say this: if we can lose the fear of death, everything else becomes a veritable cakewalk (I’ve seen a cakewalk IRL once, and they are f***ing easy). In the times I have misplaced that particular fear, life is a blissed-out experiment in service to the human hologram. Actually, as I write this, I think it is an exceptional idea to play with this fear of death more, to unpack it. Not that I’m going to start running into traffic each day, etc—but to sit with it and question it. That’s probably a topic for another day.
4. Life is a technicolor dream when you cut out the booze part.
Fun fact: I stopped drinking alcoholic beverages, pretty unceremoniously, about six months ago. It’s been my own little “thing” for the last half of the year, but I think it is an important practice of mine to start talking about, primarily because the culture of these times really heavily, heavily focuses on drinking booze as the primary source of adult entertainment and relaxation. I can tell you now, with certainty, it is not the only way to have fun, nor is it necessary to add alcohol to already-fun activities to have “more fun.” I wouldn’t have believed that a year ago, which is why I wanted to mention this now. Maybe I’ll write more about this later, but suffice it to say, if anyone reading this is thinking about being a #teetotaler but is scared of losing their edge, don’t be. You can be a pretty fun gal sans #roseallday.
5. Nobody wakes up saying, “Today, I really want to alienate people and make a ton of mistakes.”
This is a huge reality check for me, daily. When I was in the classroom, I was instructed to remember that no child wants to do poorly, and no child wakes up to the thought of, “I really want to make Mrs. Becker dislike me today.” That just doesn’t happen, guys. This was such an important breakthrough in my thinking—I became an excellent educator as a result of this simple thought. But what’s more is that no adult, no human being, animal, or basil plant (mine is dying rn and it’s in my line of vision soooo….) is trying to piss us off to the point of ruining our days. Of course, I’m certain there are exceptions to the rule. But, just remembering that if someone says something off-color in the line at the grocery store, or cuts you off in traffic, or sends you a terse email, it isn’t meant to ruin your life, is a powerful thought. Everyone here on spaceship Earth wants love, they want to feel comfortable, and they want to be seen. Not everyone goes about satisfying their needs in the same way, but that doesn’t mean that they are out to ruin our days (& the joke is on us and us alone if we let them).
6. Mindless consumption kills my creativity.
Hello, Insta-Snap-Book, I am talking to you. No, I am not going to start a soapbox rant about the evils of technology and social media. I will say that, personally, if I do mindless socials (meaning I just log in and scroll without first thinking about it), it doesn’t do much for me. In fact, it usually stabs a tiny knife in my creative bone and renders it useless for awhile. Every time you find yourself mindlessly doing anything (eating, ordering another drink, jumping on IG, having a tryst—not my form of numbing out, but I know it is for some) ask yourself: How am I feeling right now? How do I want to feel? Just check in. Start with that.
7. Things can change, and that’s okay.
I’m a Taurus sun, Taurus moon for all my astrological homies out there. This equates to being a person who is very, very stable. Sturdy. Like, "heels dug ten inches in the ground" sturdy. Like a well-built shed. Some may call it stubbornness, but I prefer to call it a “routine-oriented lifestyle.” However much routine may be my preference, things will need to change in the world, and that has to be okay. People leave our lives, habits shift, and our goals might not look the same as they did a year, a month, or a week ago. It’s totally cool to love a healthy routine/ritual, but change cannot throw us off our axis if we accept it as a part of the human game we are all gifted to play.
8. How would I feel if this were not so?
Thank you, Conversations with God for this one. In an interview, Neale was talking about how he uses this question to pop him out of weird moments, and now I use it and love it, too. Basically, he identifies the current situation first, then asks himself how he would feel differently if that were not so. For example: I am terrified of speaking in front of this group because I am scared to make a mistake and then have everyone think I am a bigger doofus than they already think I am. Stop. How would you feel if this were not so? Well, if I weren’t so scared of making a mistake, I’d probably be breathing deeply, I’d be able to make eye contact with the crowd, and to feel their excited energy. Sometimes, just visualizing the alternative can bring it into focus.
9. Meditation is some of the most fun you can have in the dark.
Har har har. But really, meditation is super bomb for so many reasons. Some of my weirdest, wildest, and potentially best ideas come to me during/after meditation, it quells my anxiety naturally, and it is essentially like a toothbrush for your brain. You wouldn’t dare say, “I’m no good at brushing my teeth, I just won’t do it,” now would you? Ditto for showering, or for other bodily hygiene practices. You do maintenance on the regs to your body, and our mind needs that same kind of maintenance, via our meditation practices. Your practice doesn’t need to look the same as everyone else’s, but to cultivate one is a very powerful thing, indeed.
10. It is possible to make enthusiastic wonder your default emotion.
This is probably my favorite lesson of the year. To sit in wonder, amazement, and gratitude in whatever circumstance you find yourself in? That’s the on-ramp to lifelong happiness, my love.
There you have it, my long-winded list of lessons from the year. What lessons did you learn in 2017? Any that you want to embark upon in 2018? Leave me a note in the comments below, and let me know!
Infinite Love & Gratitude to you all,