Something to know about me: I’m totally down the rabbit hole. Meaning, the things that interest me aren’t exactly mainstream. One does not typically chat about Angels and Guides around the water cooler. When I worked in the corporate world I quickly learned to protect my interests. It was very rare for me to share what I REALLY did over the weekend. As much as I wanted to say loudly and proudly “I became a Certified Angel Card Reader!” and whip out a tarot deck, usually what would come out of my mouth was a variation on “Oh you know, cleaned, did laundry… the usual.” I’m sure after years of my stock answer, some of my co-workers must have deemed me “most likely to bore someone to death.” But that was more palatable to me than facing the raised eyebrows or awkward glances. In truth, I had been burned a few times.
My best friend and I took a trip to Mexico in 2015 to attend a workshop with Gregg Braden, Sonia Choquette and John Holland. We had mainly gone to see Sonia as we were familiar with her work, but also to experience Mexico for the first time. The whole trip was life-changing and ridiculously fun, but one of the biggest surprises (for me at least) were the sessions hosted by Gregg Braden. I had seen him interviewed and knew he had a science background, but other than that I didn’t know what to expect. He talked of things like heart coherence, telomeres (I didn’t know what these were, but suffice it say they have a significant role in the aging process), self-healing and other fascinating topics. He showed us various photographs from his extensive travels. He has been to exotic and often remote places around the world, studying with spiritual leaders, shamans and monks (among others). He also happens to be an amazing storyteller. My best friend and I were on the edge of our seats during each of his three lectures.
When I came home, I wanted so much to share what I had learned. I remember talking to a woman at work who had been complaining incessantly about health issues. Based on some prior conversations with her, I felt that it might be “safe” to tell her about the trip. I cautiously started my story, describing the beautiful hotel and ocean view before launching into how it’s possible for a tumor to disappear though group chanting. It’s no easy segue. I forget how I started getting into the details, but I do remember her reaction. It wasn’t what she said, it was her expression and body language. Had it been a cartoon I would have morphed into a haggard fortune teller, complete with an old shawl, large hoop earrings and a crystal ball. Suddenly I felt ridiculous and I could hear a loud voice screaming in my head “ABORT! ABORT!” I had gone too far. I had misjudged the situation. To let us both of the hook, I quickly wrapped it up with something lame like “well anyway it was really interesting.” Phew!
Similar things have happened over the years in both my personal and professional life. I’ve gotten much better at gauging who I can share with. There used to be a constant struggle in my head: be who I am or protect who I am. It didn’t feel authentic to NOT discuss the things that interest me, but it didn’t feel good to get rejected or to see others uncomfortable either. Ultimately, I have come to see that it’s crucial to know your audience. We’re all at different places on the journey — not better, not worse — different. I don’t want to spend time convincing people of things (or convince them that I’m not crazy) or defending my interests. I have come to believe that it’s ok to keep things close to the vest in some situations. It’s ok to stick to more vanilla topics with some people and still be who you are. As long as you have a tribe with whom you can share all your thoughts, feelings, and beliefs and let your freak flag fly, well… that’s the good stuff. Now excuse me while I cleanse my crystals.