Make Ready: Hard-wired for Personal Growth
Updated: Oct 18, 2018
What does “make ready” look like in my life? How can I prepare myself for growth and all the good stuff I want to attract to my life? What do I need to build and what might I need to sweep away?
In the energy industry, we have the term, “make ready.” It comes up a lot in the context of electric vehicles (EVs) and specifically, charging those vehicles. Electric utilities can anticipate where desirable charging spots will be and make the infrastructure upgrades necessary to make it cheaper and easier to locate a charging station at that spot. Builders may do this too, such as by wiring a new garage to allow for fast charging should a future owner want an EV. “Make ready” tells the market that the space will be there and ready for when the cars show up. But, the cool thing is, the very act of preparing can be a catalyst for growth.
This got me thinking…What does “make ready” look like in my life? How can I prepare myself for growth and all the good stuff I want to attract to my life? What do I need to build and what might I need to sweep away? Sticking with the electricity analogy, two basic things make sense: (1) you need a working outlet to draw power, and (2) the more outlets you have, the more you can plug in.
Time for a Tune-up
Getting myself in prime working order has been really important as I enter a new decade of my life and take steps toward my biggest dreams. This means raising my vibration by living more and more of my life in my essence and according to my most sacred values. To do that, I obviously needed to get clear on who I am and what I hold dear. Then I needed to understand what would enable me to spend more time living in my highest nature. I asked myself what thoughts, behaviors, and actions were limiting me and what I wanted to bring into my life to take the place of what I’m letting go. You can think of it like an energy audit for the soul. I looked at where was I wasting energy and how could I get more out of the energy I had.
So, let’s quickly go down the checklist, starting with one of my biggest challenges—mind.
You’ll hear me talk a lot about my struggles with my mind. When I was in my early teens, I was diagnosed with a severe anxiety disorder. If I sat under a ceiling fan, I was sure it would fall and chop off my head. Sometimes, lying in bed, I was afraid that knives would pop up from the mattress. Thoughts would enter my mind and refuse to leave—and as anyone with anxiety issues knows, it is never happy thoughts. In my journals from that time of my life, I talked of wanting to stick my head under a pile of sticks and set it on fire to burn away whatever was lurking in there and find a little peace and quiet.
Fortunately, the chemistry in my brain seemed to change over the years and with practice, I eliminated anxiety attacks from my life. But while I was no longer having anxiety attacks or major trouble with intrusive thoughts, the anxiety still would come through in the form of racing thoughts, overthinking, and self-doubt, as well as some mild OCD behaviors. (I’m writing in the past tense, but really I am still working on this!) I thought about trying hypnosis and other treatments to “cure” myself of this disease once and for all, but I knew those were just a distraction or easy way out. They might truly help some people, but I knew I wasn’t going to get away with not doing the real work. What I really needed was meditation.
I had tried meditation before, by which I mean just sitting and trying not to think of anything. I fell into that common trap of thinking that I wasn’t good at meditation or it wasn’t working for me because I couldn’t find the quiet and stillness I thought everyone else was enjoying. And so I stopped. I gave up during times when it could have benefited me the most.
But I was not going to let that happen again. And it’s been easier this time because I have a greater appreciation for what meditation can do for my life. I don’t want to be still just for the sake of being still. I want to be still to create a stronger connection to my essence, which will cultivate my intuition, turn up the volume on the messages from the universe and my heart, and enhance my ability to better serve myself and others. I want to be still to practice patience, focus, and release. And I want to be still to experience what it is like to be in concert with the rhythm of the universe.
I knew deep down that to fully manifest all that I want to do in the world and be of service to the fullest extent of my capabilities, I had to meditate. That was the realization that pulled me to the cushion. And the positive change it has brought to my life keeps me showing up. [More to come about my journey into meditation, including my amazing experience at a #Davidji_com retreat, in an upcoming post.]
Fear is born in the mind, but takes hold in the heart. It clouds the messages of our heart by attaching conditions, caveats, and compromises. Fear is always offering up all the things that could go wrong.
To make ready my heart I had to clear the self-doubt, the ways I censor my real self, and the pain and grief that was holding me back. It meant forgiving myself for pain I caused and the ways I hadn’t honored my highest self in the past. I had to affirm for myself that I am enough and I have what I need to be who I long to become. These needed to be more than just thoughts—they are truths I need to carry in my heart.
I opened my heart with energy healing and meditation. I focused on clearing energetic blockages around my heart chakra and becoming alert to when I felt myself closing. I know the traditional wisdom is to be gentle with yourself, but I found it actually helped to get a bit “Glengarry, Glen Ross” with myself, replacing “Always Be Closing!” with “Always Be Opening!” Being a little aggressive with myself and channeling my inner saleswoman helped me interrupt those moments and break habitual patterns. The meditation retreat also introduced me to Kundalini yoga, which helped uncover remaining pain waiting to come to the surface to be washed away.
As I’ve been clearing out the pain and self-limiting thoughts and behaviors, I’ve been working to allow in more forgiveness, compassion, and joy. It was hard at first. For me, an open heart was a grieving heart. Having my heart open made me process a lot of tough feelings and experience a more poignant sadness when witnessing injustice or tragedy around me. But I am so much happier now for having gone through it. And people are noticing. Having light and love in your heart will radiate throughout your body and in the energy you put into the world.
Growth and transformation require energy. Lots of energy. For me, in light of everything I wanted to do, I made the decision to not bring anything into my body that would lower my energy, dull my senses, or in any way inhibit the flow of divinity into my life. Just as you wouldn’t oil a hinge with glue, I didn’t want to invite in substances that would get me stuck or slow me down (except perhaps a little Sleepytime tea when it was time to rest – which is also very important!).
The obvious target for me was alcohol. For a long time, a nice glass or half bottle of wine was my treat at the end of a long day. I’d typically pour a glass while I was cooking dinner and top it off here and there as I wound down throughout the night. On the weekends, I might increase the dosage in an attempt to release all the stress of the week and loosen up. I’m not here to say there is anything inherently wrong with that. It just wasn’t going to help me lift my vibration and bring my best self to the work I so passionately wanted to do. [I’ll share more about my 30-day no alcohol challenge in an upcoming post.]
I also saw an opportunity to put better food into my body. While I was working in NYC, I got really spoiled by all the amazing vegan restaurants. Being a long-time vegetarian, it was a natural step to phase out additional animal products from my diet. Not only is a balanced, organic plant-based diet really good for your body, but it is good for the soul. For me, the abundance of the earth provides everything I need, supporting my desire for compassionate living. That said, I am doing the best that I can, which falls short of perfection. Over time, I expect exceptions to become rarer, but for now, I’ve found a diet that works for me, so I’m going with it.
Finally, with more energy available to me and more satisfying rest and sleep, I ditched the snooze button. I wake up just 15 minutes earlier, meditate for a few minutes, and then get out of bed for 15 to 20 minutes of morning yoga. Starting my days this way creates a wave of positivity and motivation that I ride throughout the day. If you are thinking, “that would never work for me,” I get it. I thought the same thing, until I actually tried it for a week. I found that I was no more tired during the day. In fact, I had more energy and could be more productive when I sat down to work.
Making yourself ready for growth sends a signal to the universe that you are prepared for transformation and the abundance that can bring. You are ready to receive all that power. With the wheels in motion, things will start happening that reinforce your self-development.
I’ve found that as I expand and spend more time doing the things that I love, the things that limit me and don’t support me in my journey, seem to just fall away. Like alcohol. If I had tried to stop drinking without also trying to fill myself with something new, it would have been really hard. The focus would have been on what I was missing or losing from my life. But now, the focus is on what I’m gaining. And it turns out the happiness that comes from actually being happy is far better than any high or buzz. (And no hangover!)
To be clear, “make ready” does not mean that you need to have a plan for everything and have it all figured out. It means you are open, you are receptive, you are clear in your intentions, and are taking action to create the space for something magnificent to filter (or burst!) in. The energy is there in the wires, behind the wall, waiting to transform to light and to heat. All you need to do is plug in…and then see how powerful you really are.
Thanks to Nea Clare for the inspiration for this piece!