Mich Lundgren

Creation & Destruction

This morning I woke up from a bizarre dream, confused. On mornings when I am maintaining “alignment with my intentions” and actually sticking with beneficial habits, I visit with my tarot cards. I’ve been using the same set of The Wild Unknown cards since 2016, a gift to myself after my first truly successful launch. It’s beat to hell now, bent under the weight of hundreds of questions and struggles. I love these cards, and the reliable wisdom I find there.

In the dream, the part that I remember, there was a woman who died on a bench under a bridge, looking out towards a river. She remained there, as officials had decided it was too dangerous to move her body, or as a reminder to others of the danger, I’m no more certain of governmental motivations in sleep than I am when awake. I was walking with the kids, and in the way of dreams, there was an instant knowing the events surrounding this woman. It had (in dream world) been all over the news, that she had wandered into this zone with a “diminished magnetic field.” Objects, including humans, that were sensitive to this energy and happened to wander in, were immediately cut off from any sense of direction, or control over their own propulsion. Some settled, some drifted. On the top of the bench behind the woman’s shoulder was a dead fly, which in the waking life is a minor tik tok celebrity, thanks to my friend Binky featuring it’s internment on her local grocery store’s shelf. RIP. In my dream, the fly had obviously been lured in by the woman, and had met an equal fate.

As we stood, a poodle, with the rear the shape of a seahorse, and the ability to fly (what can I say, muh brain, folks) crossed into the “zone” – and immediately started lazily spinning, no longer in charge of itself. The kids caught it, and were snuggling him, just as I woke up.

After pondering the strangeness of it all, I reached the obvious conclusion that I was struggling against a pattern of gaining momentum, and then losing energy or focus, tumbling out of control. I turned to the cards to explore this idea more, using my standard daily spread, a 4 point compass.

North – Energy: Reversed Seven of Pentacles

East – Focus: Reversed Daughter (Page) of Wands

South – Message: Reversed Nine of Wands

West – Voice: The Tower

You can click the links above to read more about the individual cards, if you’re interested. The themes in the first three were clear enough, as always. It is almost laughable, and spooky, how directly relevant they can be. My interpretation of the dream matched their message precisely, lack of direction, control, momentum. However, the Voice containing the Tower card surprised me. This card is one that causes anxiety in many who practice tarot, as it represents sudden, unexpected change, often accompanied by destruction. I’ve always embraced that – I have a long history of burning my life down to make room for new growth, so the hint of upheaval ahead is not something that scares me. However, this wasn’t really about change ahead. Where the Message card in my spread is the “what I need to know/expect,” the Voice card is, “what I need to speak.”

What came to mind was the place of destruction in my patterns, and what its absence means for my patterns, now that I’ve given up my love affair with easy strike matches. What can I say about this?

Mixed Metaphors, Ahoy

Before returning to Minnesota, I knew I was done burning things down. In the spring of 2018, we spent a month in Houston, which was initially supposed to be our relaunch into fulltime travel. During that trip, I realized that whatever gypsy existed in me had been satiated, healed. I no longer felt an irresistible urge to run, and in its place was a quiet voice, calling me home. There was a sense of loss, as that vagabond nature has always been a core of my identity. Who could I possibly be inside of a normal, stable life? I spent the next six months, back in Arizona, figuring out what I wanted my life to be now, in the absence of “anything but permanent.”

I came home already committed to staying the course, to building something for keeps. That part has never been a challenge, the certainty is unwavering. I don’t even know if its fair to call it commitment when it isn’t even a question. It’s nothing rigid or forceful, it’s just a fact. Do you have a commitment to blinking?

But.

I have spent my life using fire as fuel, destruction as a catalyst for change. Since coming home, I have really struggled to build enough momentum to create anything substantial, which I so desire, which I actually need. I get excited, but I lose my way in the space between. What used to be scorched earth awaiting my new vision, is now filled with strong roots and blooming distractions. There is no urgency in my life. I may not be content – but like that weird snuggled up seahorse-poodle in my dream, I am comfortable, cozy, safe.

The funny thing is – when I was in the build & burn cycle, I didn’t have much control over my direction. I had ideas, took frantic action, watched my ideas come to life. Then, inevitably I would realize I had made a critical error and would lunge for my trusty matches. Now, I know where I want to be, but I don’t really know how I want to get there. Maybe it’s not even that. Maybe….I am afraid that if I build here, in this safe & comfortable, rudderless place, that I will accidentally ruin everything. Maybe part of me still believes the fire is my nature, that I am the fire, and that with any friction I will simply combust. Am I sure there are no embers lying below the surface, waiting for a strong breeze to rile them into an inferno? Ok, Drama.

Imagine that you have spent your life on a ship, filled with holes, in a raging sea, and under assault from all directions, including from yourself, standing on the deck, compulsively starting fires whenever you’re not baling water or sinking under.

Then suddenly, you’re on dry land, with a sneaking sense that you are safe. How long do you just…sit, eat plump fruit dropped from rich trees, stare at the clouds, and just fucking breathe. How long before you stop scanning the horizon for threats? At what point do accept that you are ok, that everything is ok, and you can do whatever you want. At what point do you stand up, brush the sand off, and decide to build a house, seek out other inhabitants, explore what the island has to offer beyond safety and comfort? When is it safe to trust yourself with matches?

Tawanda

I used to believe I was born with running shoes for feet, hands permanently waving goodbye. I thought I was a short term, flaky, incapable person. Everything fleeting, nothing sure. I simply didn’t believe I had the ability to sustain or maintain anything, and certainly not anything resembling a normal life.

Four years ago I decided to make that my ultimate truth. I had already effectively burned my life in Minnesota to the ground, so it was easy deciding to pack up my kids and my life to run off with a person who was more red flags than flesh.

A whirlwind year saw us cross the country three times, always chasing his next plan, never breathing. Then, with a slap across my child’s sweet cheek, it ended. I packed us into a rented car and set out to cross the country again, to start over in an unfamiliar tiny town, homeless and broke. But free and hopeful.

We were in the cheapest motel in town for a few weeks before I realized I was pregnant. I can’t even express the level of shame, self-loathing, and hopelessness that followed this realization. Beneath all that was a sense of the magic my daughter would bring, but it was hard not to feel like a huge fuckup.

After nearly two months in the motel, a tax refund came in and it was just enough to get us into a house, with an incredible landlord who had faith in me in a way nobody ever really has. I hit the ground running, alternating being sick, passing out, and offering 15 minute mini portrait sessions in my front yard to families in town. Slowly things started feeling a kind of normal. We were broke and isolated, but things were moving. 

On Christmas in 2015, I watched my kids opening dollar store presents from my mom, in our sparsely furnished living room, and something in me broke. I knew I couldn’t do portraits much longer, I could barely move. I started sifting through all of the things I knew how to do, anything that might help us stay afloat through the rest of my pregnancy. Any hope that I could do better for my kids. I settled on doing graphic design. I had done it for years for my own businesses, and as a hobby. I figured I could scrape together enough work to get by from home. It was never meant to change my life.

I had no idea what I was doing, but I kept moving forward and learning. Slowly I started finding myself through the work, learning that in this work I had a strong voice and could help people. Soon I was finding spiritual connections in my clients, and learning more about parts of myself that had been long abandoned. 

I can say with absolute confidence that in the second half of 2016 I was the picture of spiritual bypassing. I had all of the words, I preached the concepts, but I hadn’t deeply applied them in a meaningful way to myself, I hadn’t done the ugly work. In November of that year I announced I wanted to be done with poverty, and a crazy ass coach poofed into my life with a magic process to help me make miracle money. I followed the steps….and sure as fuck they worked. In a year and a half I went from homeless to making 12k in a month. Unfortunately, I hadn’t done any of the internal work to prepare for upleveling my life and the sudden shift proved to be traumatic. I sabotaged myself left and right, getting more overwhelmed and more sure of my incompetence, month after month. 

By July 2017, we were utterly broke again, living with family after I tried to leave the tiny town and failed. Shit started to hit the fan, predictably if you consider my energy at the time. I sank into a deep depression and stopped caring. The end of 2017 barely exists in my memory, mostly me staring into space, deeply terrified to the point of being numb. 

All this time I was trying to claw my way back to the feeling of creating a 12k month out of nowhere, trying to create some sense of spiritual connection and always through the scope of money. I obsessed over the idea that it was a fluke, a once in a lifetime moment. I was doomed to live in poverty and failure forever. What can I say, I am dramatic. However, at some point I gave up. It wasn’t a peaceful surrender, I just got so tired of fighting that I gave in to my fate. 

I spent a few months doing nothing but driving my friends nuts with my sadness. We moved to the middle of nowhere with my mom and I started walking the desert, collecting pretty rocks. I started waking up, marveling at the energy of these tiny bits of earth and history. I started breathing for the first time in years. I started quietly speaking with the universe (God, source, Tawanda) again and confronting my own wounds. I wasn’t just healing, I was evolving and I was receiving. I had been fighting so hard to receive money that I had failed to notice all of the other things that were available. Of course, as happens, when I started focusing on healing, money started arriving. 

In all of the wisdom and healing that has come this year, I have found something grounded. I have found a peace that I never believed I could have. Like I said in the beginning of this novel of a post, I believed I was born for running away. I loved this story about myself, the vagabond, the mystery that flits out of your life almost as quickly as I appeared. Now to find that I am ready to make something deeper in my life, to stop running, is equal parts scary and magical. 

I continue to learn about what it means to be me, proudly, unapologetically, in each moment. There is a lot of experimentation, testing experiences and ideas to see how they might feel. There is even more listening, though I am also learning that my voice is just as important as the listening parts. 

I am also learning how to help others. I see my clients struggling to force answers to the wrong questions, and I know I am just a few steps ahead and maybe I am supposed to be the one to help them forward. That scares me, and so I am still learning to wear that part of my identity – co-creator, guide, soulmate? I am patient with her, myself, my fear. I will keep speaking the truth that trickles in and trust the rest to fall into place. 

I have been spinning my wheels for a couple of weeks, things have not been filled with the ease I demanded and boy that irks me, makes me want to give up. I have to keep dragging myself back to faith, I have to keep reminding myself not to get so carried away by fear that I lose sight of what I am building. What I am building is huge, and beautiful, so of course it will take time and energy. 

So with another deep breath…onward, always. 

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