Lifting the Veils

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Two Decembers ago, I lay face down on a massage table in Mexico. The fact that I was here as the consequence of courage had not fully seeped into my consciousness. I had yet to understand that I was in the process of handing away all that was familiar and safe. It was the bravest I’d ever been, and it would only be the beginning.

The masseuse worked intuitively. She told me things about myself and my past that I hadn’t told her. She said I no longer needed my fear. It wasn’t my job to absorb the pain of others. I would now learn to stand in my own two feet. As she worked up and down the body I’d rejected most of my life, I felt a softening. These were not directives from a stranger - she was reporting to me in words and touch where I was arriving internally and had yet to connect with. These things I already knew. The reflection allowed me to re-inhabit my body after decades of absence and feel how tired I was of being afraid - that I am not enough, that I am not lovable, that there was ultimately something wrong with me and I didn’t deserve to be happy. I felt my skin dripping with oil and sweat, my heart filling to the brim and spilling over. The inner lines of my body felt beautiful and glowing.

“I have always felt that I have so much love to give, but it isn’t received,” I said, from somewhere much deeper than my mind.

“Give it anyway,” she said without pause. My body shuddered with the truth.

Most of my life I’d felt separate and unsupported, over time learning to withdraw into myself for protection. On the outside, I spent a lot of energy cultivating an “acceptable” Carly, one pieced together of others’ expectations and unfulfilled hopes. She was quieter, less opinionated, sullen. On the inside was a vast, lush universe, and to a large extent I lived inside of that. I disappeared into music, photography, writing, and yoga, unaware that I was distancing myself from others in exchange for that safety. This division provided great security and dense barriers at the same time - a breeding ground for both inner growth and a lot of weeds.

This is not a process of creating a new self; the truth is I’ve always been brave. This is the shedding of an inauthentic sheath, a bridging of my inner and outer worlds so that I can share in the richness of connection with others and the world around me. That’s what this blog is about.

I am not special. The mirage of unworthiness is common to everyone to some degree, and can run so deep and wide that we aren’t even aware of it. The same goes for our innate wisdom that is longing to be revealed. I don’t promise to have any answers for anyone who is suffering, but I can offer a transparency to my process. My hope is that the stories I tell, pictures I take, or the yoga I teach may ignite some tiny flame of recognition in you about yourself. That you will feel your heart thump and your voice lift up and out of you.

We already have everything we need. Let’s go.