Why I quit my PhD and gave up on the HOW to enter the NOW
I would like to share what has been my experience of the pendulum swings we sometimes get swept up in, through the example of my own process of finally leaving Academia behind for good and fully embracing my true passion. It’s a discussion about the difference between steps and states, the How and the Now, and a shout out to the Women who will change the world (see my full Manifesto in the Healing the Goddess section). Hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it! ♥
I’ve been doing this kind of work (healing) for a long time, 2 years shy of 2 decades actually, yet it was always within a pendulum swing of healer on one side, scholar on the other, and whenever I would fully commit to one of those ‘sides’, the other would then slowly but surely creep up and eventually start whispering to me to come back. Ohhh the human drama of ‘this or that’, of ‘here or there’, of dualities and polarities… We can get lost in that distractive shit for years, decades even… And it sucks the life force right out of you, keeping you in a state of doubt, unsure of what to commit to… wondering how to get the f’ out of the bind it creates inside…
Yet, in truth, the only way out is THROUGH (whoever wise person said that thank you!), and that’s what I chose to do. I can’t say it was an easy decision because I was enjoying the unfolding of my journey as a healer, working within 2 very different realities (I was heavily involved in shamanic work at that time and had been for a couple of years, splitting my work year in half, giving 6 months a year to that and the other 6 months to working in the community sector as the coordinator of a half-year program to help young adults navigate their way through various mental and behavioral issues). But that nagging voice was a bit too persistent to simply ignore. So, even though I had been out of academia for almost a decade, and had already spent almost 7 years in there prior to that (B.A. in Communication, M.A. in Sociology), I decided to go back to school… again!
I applied for funding and got full scholarships (yes I’m one of those annoying straight A students that gets a lot of goodies from that standing) and enrolled into a PhD program in the Sociology and Anthropology department. Holding that deep wisdom of the THROUGH, I figured this might be the only way to stop the pendulum swing in me, which feeds on hypotheticals (maybe I should do this OR maybe I should do that…), and I definitely wanted out of that back and forth I’d been in for way too long. It kept me in that awful state of ‘the grass is greener on the other side’ except mine was always about ‘where can I have the most impact on human consciousness and its unfolding’.
I came to realise after a while that this question was actually all pervasive – it’s everywhere – I call it the ‘top-down or bottom-up debate’ and it goes something like this: how does change happen and how can we participate to it in the most effective manner? Is it by studying its inner workings and beaming the knowledge about it down from the Ivory Tower into the social fabric OR is it a ground level thing by which individuals acting as collectives change the social fabric through their actions and academia then gets to study it? Such a funny debate when you think about it… not that different from the chicken and the egg one… which came first?
The answer: BOTH CAME AT THE SAME TIME! There is no such thing as one direction only (top-down or bottom-up), it’s a constant interaction, it’s a relation and trying to dissect it kills the ability to see the whole formed by the interacting parts! And beyond that debate of whether its top-down or bottom-up is the question of how to best nurture our changing world, how to feed the ground AND the tower in such a way that they become fertile environments for the awakening of consciousness and the emergence of a heart-centered world.
And guess what? It might be a different question but it has the same answer! It’s relational… parts of a whole, interacting and co-creating new realities! The cause and effect way of looking at things is undergoing an interesting shift: faced with the ‘energy’ of transformative relations through which new realities emerge in non-determined, non-linear ways (these make it really hard to find a ‘cause’ and an ‘effect’ per say cause it’s all in one big cosmic soup of possibilities), it’s becoming more obvious that it’s not necessarily how things actually are, as much as it’s how our intellect goes about understanding stuff from a rational and analytical perspective.
So this, too, is BOTH AT THE SAME TIME: we are shapers of the world as much as we are shaped by the world; as we go about transforming reality, we are also transformed by what we have transformed!
OK… Let me start weaving this information into the actual subject I want to touch upon, something that needs to be pondered by those who embark on a mission to heal and reduce suffering and become more whole, more peaceful, more centered…
It’s not so much about series of STEPS as it’s about experiencing different STATES…
It’s not so much about figuring out the HOW as it’s about entering the NOW…
The HOWs are there to offer tips and tools to go from one state to another, they offer your mind a clear, linear, controlled path with which it can orient itself. The steps are there to help with overwhelm, they are meant to give you a (somewhat false) security of a ‘proven blueprint’, a clear path you can travel on and, with relative certainty, get to similar results as others who have followed the same path and its determined steps. But, and this is a big but, steps are for your rational mind and YOU are much more than that – YOU are consciousness within which mind plays its games. Only YOU can actually generate the states, which are like ‘dwelling places’ within consciousness, and there are many states you can travel into that are WAY BEYOND the scope of your rational mind’s ability to ‘get it’ or ‘go there’.
Our modern world-view, which shapes how we perceive our inner and outer realities, has been largely shaped by science and the quest for certainty it shares with philosophy (they go about it differently though). It sounds insane and in many ways it is, but Western thought has sought to ‘replace God’ as the source of all meaning (WHY), by explaining away everything as process (HOW)… To the point that things lose all inherent meaning: planets become lifeless rocks, humans are reduced to being biological and chemical systems, and consciousness ends up being explained away as a by-product of matter once it has a certain complexity to it (they call this ‘epiphenomena’, which means ‘that emerges from X and would not exist without it’). Quantum understanding is denting the crap out of this way of seeing, but we’re still deeply rooted in a very materialistic view of life, with physical sciences acting superior to dreaming sciences.
In all my time studying this stuff at University, I never did understand the stretch from ‘this is how x works’ to ‘and that’s all it is’… Like the ability to explain how something works gives you the right to then act like you know what it is and why it exists, like what and why could be reduced to how… It used to drive me f’n nuts while I was still banging my head against the walls of academia, getting more and more frustrated at the way knowledge is structured in there… The need to dissect things into parts and then try to rebuild it to see how it works might apply adequately to (the desire to manipulate) objects but man oh man is it ever a problem to apply that method to living and breathing beings with complex bio-chemical/emotional systems that house conscious energy patterns (our souls, the spiritual realm)!
As a healer with strong claircognizance capabilities, I can tell you right now that this over emphasis on rational thought as the accepted way to produce ‘certain’ knowledge is fear-based: it creates massive contraction of the psyche and leaves us in a world devoid of meaning and magic. Whereas the ’new sciences’ that are slowly but surely emerging and bringing new ways of thinking and perceiving, signal a huge shift, a paradigm change, a quantum leap in understanding. I’m not going to expand on this too much but it’s worth mentioning the major flip that quantum understanding will bring into the core assumptions behind materialist science: quantum viewing shows that matter is ONE of MANY expressions of consciousness (which means – are you ready for this? – that matter is an epiphenomena!)
These new sciences will play a big role in the transformation of the world-view that shapes our present experience of life, but this takes time and the old paradigm isn’t going to go away without a fight. Even within the faculties of pure science, quantum understanding is often ridiculed. It’s scary to the rational mind cause it’s a paradox and rationality likes clear-cut ‘it’s this OR it’s that’ kind of logic, whereas paradox is about 2 contradictory things coexisting harmoniously, i.e. ‘it’s this AND it’s that’. Paradigm shifts take time to build up and get to the point of no return, but once they do get to that point, the shift is quick. Until then though, there’s a paradigm battle going on, involving political games and power plays that I have no interest in participating to. It’s a big part of why I ended up walking away from a PhD…
Power plays and politics are fear-based, ego-driven attempts to gain the upper hand, to have ‘power over’ (which involves disempowering the other) as opposed to ‘power with’ (which involves empowering each other). I refuse to participate to any form of ‘power over’, and I stand up, firmly, in the ‘power with’ stance. My calling is in connecting with beings in a way that respects their dignity and integrity, that sees first and foremost their wholeness and undivided essence, that fosters deep communication and expansive interactions… Hence, although I really wanted to contribute to Western academic knowledge and be part of the movement of bringing dignity back into the study of living beings and the complex inner and outer environments they interact with and are integral parts of, I made peace with the fact that I was done trying to do it from within that institution.
From a healer’s perspective, that institution looks more like a madhouse than a palace of knowledge. In order to be in there and play the game of battling the old to bring in the new, of dealing with the politics of knowledge, you need what I call ‘bite’. That’s what gives you the drive to ram into that political bullshit and ‘prove the worth’ of another way of seeing. This requires something I don’t have much of anymore: an ego out to prove its worth to the world. It’s almost like a truck rammed into me one day – like, really hard, à la bitch slap across the face and fall on my ass hard – and it just became too clear to keep going… I finally had the ‘revelation’ that would put a stop to the pendulum once and for all.
I don’t want to study things as much as I want to be with them.
I don’t want to argue about the nature of the changes that are taking place as much as I want to participate in creating and feeding these changes as they are happening.
I don’t want to inhabit my rational mind as if it was a solid base where truth can be found (it’s not in there anyway!), I want to follow my inner guidance as it unfolds in the moment.
Basically, I want to ride the wave of transformation we are on and be of service to the expansion of consciousness we are experiencing. I want to feed this expansion with every breath I take, every heartbeat the pulse of life sends through me, every vision that spirit intuitively drops into my psyche.
I want to BE WITH YOU while we GO THROUGH the birthing of a NEW WAY OF BEING TOGETHER!
It took going back to school one last time to break the pendulum and be done with studying things versus actually being part of them. It might seem to the outsider of this process that I wasted years of my life in academia without getting the end-result of having the PhD title and status that comes with it. To others it might seem like I wasted years playing with my mind instead of fully committing to my healing practice. It certainly seemed like that to me, or to my ego I should say since that’s the energy that wants to accomplish things and get recognition for it – but that’s such a small way to look at it. And that small way of looking doesn’t apply to anything once when you’re no longer polarised and swinging from one end of the pendulum to the other. The real question is more as goes:
Did I waste time playing with dualities or did I gain an understanding that will follow me into eternity?
All I know is the pendulum is gone and what’s left is the CLARITY that comes from being in UNITY. I am no longer split into 2 poles, swinging from one side to the other instead of finding the still center, dealing with shoulds or coulds instead of being Here and Now, jumping from one side to another instead of just going straight INTO and THROUGH. Far from being a waste of time, these experiences were part of the momentum that brought me into a state of grace. All I feel is gratitude for all these years spent swinging in the pendulum, they were the stepping stones through which I explored and eventually transcended the dualistic nature of thought. That is not a waste of time, rather, it’s the GIFT of time! ♥
So HERE I AM, IN THE NOW, ALIGNED WITH MY SOUL, INSPIRED BY SPIRIT, READY AND WILLING TO BE OF FULL SERVICE TO THE FLOWERING OF CONSCIOUSNESS!!!
Will you travel with me, deep within to the source of all things, where nothing is divided and everything is perfect exactly as it is? I can’t wait to work with you and bring you to your inner center stage, your point of absolute stillness so you may feed your soul and elevate your mind to new heights.
Can you image a world where we all stand together as conscious co-creators? What new ways of being together we will be able to create from a heart-centered place? How far can we go in this process? I see a future where we are all reconnected to our true Being, deep within, and connect together from that place of abundance and absolute knowingness that we are unconditionally loved by Life, by Source, by whatever you want to call the higher intelligence that pervades everything. I don’t know about you, but I am willing to devote my life to bringing us back into our hearts, connected to our souls, ready and able to stand as one and expand the love frequency throughout the Milky Way Galaxy!
That is a state I am willing to feed into reality, and the steps to get to that state are the only ones I am interested in teaching and mentoring. This might seem limited but it’s actually all-inclusive because as you learn to enter and remain in the expansive state of Being (versus the contracted fear-based state of ego), steps simply show up in front of you when you actually need them and you get to marvel at how f’n awesome that is! You enter the state of grace, of deep trust that comes from knowing that you are fully supported by the Universe and it always gives you what you focus your attention and resources into. So let’s tend to our garden with grace, there are so many seeds of beauty, love and harmony to plant in this world.
So… what do you say? Will you join me as a Gardener of the Soul’s expansion into new heights of awareness?
If so, here is our first mission: RECONNECT ALL WOMEN TO THEIR INNER GODDESS OF CREATIVITY.
I AM SEEKING OUT THE WOMEN WHO WILL BRING THIS INTO THE WORLD WITH ME. YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE: THE CHANGE-MAKERS, ENERGY-SHIFTERS, FEMALE ENTREPRENEURS WHO ARE ALREADY ACTIVELY AND PASSIONATELY WORKING ON TRANSFORMING THIS WORLD. I WILL TEACH YOU HOW TO CONSCIOUSLY PARTNER UP WITH YOUR INNER GODDESSES SO WE CAN UNLEASH CREATIVE POWER AND HEART-CENTERED DOING ON A MASSIVE COLLECTIVE GLOBAL SCALE!
ARE YOU IN? OR SHOULD I SAY, CENTERED WITHIN? 😉
Let’s do this! It’s time to bring female understanding, very holistic by nature, back into the big picture. Enough with the madness of old school religion (that gave us a bunch of dogma and guilt) as well as materialist science (that left us empty in its quest to be the master of matter – hello power trip!). Enough with allowing domination of intellectual thought to cover up the magic and beauty of life – seriously what’s the use in understanding how something works if it means killing its being-ness?
I hope I speak for most of us women out there when I say: we are spiritual beings having a physical experience and it’s about f’n time that we start acting like it and use our creative powers to manifest a world that upholds our Essence and our inherent Dignity as the Majestic Beings we truly are. As we consciously reconnect to our Soul Dimension, we will start remembering our extended families, our ancestors and our place in the vast Galactic community we are part of!
I might not know you yet, but I love you, as I love all life. Come and explore with me what it’s like to come back to UNITY and experience what it means to be TRULY FREE!!!
Julie♥Claire, aka The Stand Up Healer: Where FUNNY and INTEGRITY merge with INFINITY!
AUTHOR, SPEAKER, HEALER AND MENTOR – MY PASSION IS SOUL EXPANSION! JOIN ME, LET’S CREATE UNITY!!!