Life on It’s Head

Going from being an Ayahuasca shamanic apprentice in the Peruvian Amazon and running a healing center (on a combination of intuition, spiritual guidance and magical thinking) for five years into family life in the suburbs was definitely a shock to the system. Especially since my biggest fear was living a mundane life.

Flaws of Magical Thinking

A slight adjustment to say the least. No biggie. Just my single and social life replaced by a scarily real relationship, and my fears of what that really means darting from corner to corner. Declaring bankruptcy for assuming my magical thinking would translate into proper accounting skills.

Adulting (Boo)

Looking for, for the first time in my life, a (gasp!) full time job. My free-spirited, wild inner teenager (who simply grew into a free-spirited, wild, conflicted adult) finally had to do what she swore the Man would never force her to do…sell out.

This mentality (which I wonder if potentially has roots in the upper middle class generation X, Y and Occupy) is starting to get on my nerves. Somebody please smack me.

Why I believed I was so extra special that somehow magically I would slip through the cracks of society, and come into enough money to share with the poor and still be able to eat organic – is beyond me. The truth is – I am special. I am very special. And so is everyone else.

The Dream is Not Free

The hard part about being a dreamer, is that there are certain practical applications one needs to be able to actually manifest the dream.

And for those of us who have roots in the hippie, artist, “new agey spiritual”, etc worlds – well, the cultural norms tend to be of the mindset that damns the Man, condescends on the mainstream, and assumes the worst about the faceless 1%.

Yet, at the same time, most of our dreams involve money in some way, shape or form. Doesn’t mean we can’t share it, but if my Bank of America is overdrafted, ain’t much to share. Anything shy of living as a starving artist, spiritual martyr or international nomad is just plain SELLING OUT.

My Privilege is Showing

At least that’s what my little ego has constructed over the years. She’s never satisfied, because she shoots for impossible dreams. Wait! Nothing’s impossible!!! The magical thinking we teach our children in America, as taught to us. If you want it bad enough, work hard enough, and never give up, you are guaranteed to succeed. Right?

For some, yes. Some of our human fam don’t have the luxury to spin around in our own heads about it though. This is my privileged white girl song. I would dare to guess that without the cushion of safety net under my trapeze, I’d be a little more careful of how I leaped.

But sometimes the hardest circumstances create the most empowered, enlightened people on the other side of hardship, right? Of course. I ain’t one of them. The blow to my ego is that, in actuality, my life hasn’t been all that hard. My internal chaos – mentally and emotionally – possibly.

Am I Still Enough if I Don’t “Make It”?

But that too may have been a privilege luxury item. I have to face the fact that I may not become a big spiritual leader, or teacher, or speaker. I may become a writer of sorts, since I’m actually putting effort into that once in awhile. But the truth is, I had a chance to launch myself in that direction, and I balked.

Fear? Maybe. Recognizing that I was not quite as special as my ego liked to think it was, probably on some level.

Please be clear, I’m not promoting the beating up of oneself, or the judging of our own inability to not be judgmental. I’m coming down off the high-horse, and this phase is a natural over-correct to level me out. For someone pulling themselves up from hiding, an empowering phase would be necessary for that particular level-out.

Liberating Myself from My Own Expectations

This is me simply letting go, so I can actually feel some deep satisfaction in my life. I’ve been landing in the stars, with a gaping moon-shaped hole longing to be filled. This is no way to live.

I am letting go of the craving need to “make something of myself” (from the standpoint of proving my worth and value to the world and myself.)

I am letting go of needing to have my hands in twenty projects at once, just to hit the point of overwhelm and shut down when I can’t handle it. I am letting go of the “spiritual identity”, another attempt to solidify the elusive ‘who am I’ at essence.

Now, I get to be free. Free to enjoy my relationship and most beautiful baby (who just turned five months, by the way!) Free to earn money without white guilt attached to it, and develop a career without a hippie on my shoulder questioning whether I’m selling out.

Free to do whatever feels good to me as my craft, just because I want to, not because I feel obligated to produce in repayment for my debt to society. I can write. Online publish. Do whatever. Just for fun.

Dream First, then Hire Smart People

Little Meghan is growing up, folks. I hate to disappoint the dreamers, and I am not suggesting you give up on yours. I’m saying, if I could go back and do it differently, I would pull inspiration from the magical thinking, but call on a financial adviser to run the books (and maybe ask someone who – ya know – knows something about business how to launch a start-up.)

The hardest lesson for me is that yes, for me at least, we are shooting for balance. Not to be as “spiritual as possible”, but to know which aspect fits in which compartment. Of course nothing is separate in large-scale, esoteric, quantum terms – but in my bank account, I need to be humble enough when to accept help from God/Universe – through a friggin CPA.

It’s not the visionaries who manifest the dreams – it’s those who know how to bring those dreams down to Earth.

Signing off from the mainstream,



Stay tuned folks, the dreamer doesn’t go that easily! All comes full circle eventually…


~ Meghan Shannon Elder (@beyond_meghan)

Ayahuasca Preparation and Integration Specialist at Beyond the Ceremony

Accelerated Spiritual Development Coach at Beyond the Whirlwind

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