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Deconditioning From What Was

Updated: Nov 24, 2022

"Each time you meet an old emotional pattern with presence, your awakening to truth can deepen." - Tara Brach

Last month, be it the planetary retrograde or that time of my moon cycle, I experienced one of the most challenging soul unraveling since my postpartum depression. For a good two weeks, I was completely crippled. I’m talking foggy mind, hay-wired nervous system, uncontrollable emotions, and a complete lack of will and inability to do anything. This unexpected internal breakdown was so confusing because everything had seemed perfectly fine. Life was on track, everything was good. I felt like I was on my way up with the launch of THE LOTUS POND and all of its amazing wellness offerings ready to go! There was no explainable reason to warrant a mind-body-emotional-spiritual attack.

But alas, spiritual intervention works in the most mysterious of ways…

For the first few days, I tried with all my might to climb out of my emotional upheaval because it was debilitating! I felt like a hindrance to myself and the rest of my family. I couldn’t get anything done. I couldn’t work, I couldn’t think, I couldn’t even feel. I could barely get out of bed. The more I tried to get out of this trance with my trusted tools, the worst I got. Nothing worked and I felt completely dumbstrucked. Frustrated, I wondered how long this process was going to take, why this was happening to me, and if I’d be stuck like this forever. In that state, I remember feeling heartbroken knowing how many people go through similar mental health situations and whether they're supported.

As the days dragged on, I started realizing that there was no way out of this. The only thing I could do is to stop. So I did.

I stopped trying to get myself out of this state. I stopped overthinking. I stopped planning. I stopped judging myself. I stopped and surrendered to my crippling, numbing state of complete confusion and chaos that somehow needed to happen in that very moment.

And just like that, the moment I stopped trying, things started turning around.

"These pains you feel are messengers. Listen to them." - Rumi

With time and love, I started piecing myself back together again. Clarity came to me in spurts: during my meditation practices, in deep conversations with loved ones and peers, and in the silent moments while decluttering my room.

As space widened in and around me, I was able to be with my pain more comfortably and learn of its timely existence, realizing it stemmed from an unassuming passing comment made weeks ago: “Hey, there’s this new series called Partner Track on Netflix. The main character reminds me of you. She’s got your smile!”

While the comment itself carried no intention other than to share an observation that may very well be true, little did I know that beyond my knowing, at a deep subconscious level, these words became the very seeds to my next deconditioning process.

From purely a physical perspective, what a compliment it was to be compared to the beautiful main actress of this Netflix show, Arden Cho. I was definitely able to see the resemblances in our smiles. What I couldn’t shake for days was the thought of being compared to the character she played. For Partner Track is a story about an ambitious Asian-American woman who strives to make partner in a competitive New York law firm where all odds are forever against due to gender, race, and social norms. In pursuing this lifelong dream of hers, she works day and night, makes huge moral compromises, completely neglects her own wellbeing, and dismisses that of her loved ones. I couldn’t quite finish the series for understandable reasons, but mainly, I started wondering if there was actual truth in this out-of-nowhere comparison?

I found that as much as I wanted to deny it, there was a tiny trace of similarity - the resemblance in both of our ego needs to achieve perfectionism for external validation. That realization was a glass-shattering moment because I had thought that I’ve moved on from this version of myself years ago, especially as I've pivoted towards a more spiritual path.

For as long as I could remember, I’ve always been a perfectionist. This perfectionist in me has existed since grade school, dictating every step of my life. At times, even sabotaging me from what could’ve, with her self-criticisms and high-strung expectations. Without going into the details of how she may have came about, I believe she was partly a result of intergenerational conditioning as an Asian woman trying to survive in this Generator (see human design), patriarchal, capitalistic world. For perfectionism has been shown to reap external validations in school and work. Perfectionism led to reward and respect. Perfectionism led to promotions and salary raise. Perfectionism was what made one stand out and be seen.

But perfectionism has also been so exhausting and that which I’ve been trying to shed.

As I stepped into the next chapter of my life in hopes of serving from my heart, little did I know that perfectionism has yet to say its goodbyes. In fully succumbing to this painful truth, I discovered that while I had thought everything seemed normal over the past few months, my soul, my higher self, knew better that I had been operating against my truth for a long while now. Without my knowing, I had lost track somewhere along the way as I started up my new wellness business. While my soul deeply craved to just be a sacred guide to those who truly needed me, I’ve instead continued to allow my ego of perfectionism to lead. I realized I did things just for the sake of it, because I felt like I should, because that’s what I felt like was needed of me to look the part of this “wellness expert.”

Instead I had forgotten that all I am is already enough. That I needed to prove nothing more, to know from my heart that I am already a guide, a teacher, a projector, who loves holding space and sharing heart wisdom to those who chooses me back.

Despite having had to grapple with my identity crisis in such a way, the glass-shattering moment actually prompted a beautiful deconditioning process within. In facing this longstanding ugly truth that had been lurking around in the background for ages, I finally saw it for what it was.

In seeing and accepting all parts of me with compassion, I was then able to pull it out of the dark and properly say goodbye to that part of me that I’ll no longer allow to run the next segment of my life.

As I meditated on this experience, I realized how akin this whole process has been to the beautiful practice of meditation itself. In life or during meditations, it is never easy to sit with our worse fears, for it brings up all sorts of unimaginable situations from physical pain to overbearing emotions to mental haziness to spiritual unknowns. As much as we want to ignore it or push this reality away, it always stick around in some way, shape, or form. If and when we do choose to sit with our painful reality gently, with time and patience, we might begin to see an opening of deep wisdom and truth coming through. Every situation is here to teach us something, especially the painful ones. Once it’s revealed and we see it clearly for what it is, all of a sudden, it no longer holds any power over us and we are then set free.

This process of constantly uncovering and meeting ourselves over and over again is tough. But perhaps my truth-sharing of my continual soul deepening process can be a reassurance that you’re not alone in this complicated and beautiful human experience. We all go through dark days and it can be ugly at times. What I can say is that I am up for it, and I’m also up for sitting with you in all your feels so that we can come out on the other side a little clearer, a little wiser, a little braver in discovering all there is to know about ourselves. Trust that it’s worth it. Are you ready to meet the full range of you?

Reach out if you need me, for I am your meditation coach. I am your sacred guide.

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Oct 14, 2022

Beautifully written and very inspirational. Way to go Jess!

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