"Good morning, everyone. This is your captain speaking. We will be cruising at an altitude of thirty-five thousand feet and a speed of approximately five hundred miles per hour. There may be occasional turbulence, but nothing to worry about. Enjoy the ride."

Sound familiar? If you've taken trips by airplane, you know the drill, and you've had the experience of traveling at that height and speed without really having the sensation of much movement, even at such a velocity. In fact, the take-off from the runway, at a speed of merely 150 miles per hour, always seems a lot faster, right?

Well, that is a perfect metaphor for your personal process so far in 2013. From early November ('round about Hurricane Sandy time), through the winter solstice (12/21/12) and into the New Year, many of you were in "take-off" mode, where the changes and challenges were coming fast and furious, and there definitely was some turbulence. Loss was a big part of that. Loss of lovers, friends or family members, loss of jobs, loss of home environments or possessions, and most significantly, loss of identity.

This latter loss was not due to identity theft, though. It was voluntary, the result of an intense period of self-work, a process of dismantling the structures of the ego that had long been identified with. The roles we played, the masks we wore, our attachments to people, places and things, all fell to the wayside as we progressed through our inner journey. (My favorite Buddhist psychotherapist and writer, Mark Epstein made the point that the true goal of therapy isn't to find oneself, but to lose one's self. From one of Epstein's books: "Wisdom and happiness are to be found only by emptying one's cup of opinions and preconceptions. A mind that is full cannot take in anything new.")

In therapy sessions in early 2013 (and more people came to me for therapy in these last 6 months than ever before during such a period in my entire 30 years of practice), many patients reported feeling "lost," without direction, not knowing "who they were." Yet, as I wrote about in my piece, "FALSE CLARITY TO GENUINE CONFUSION TO GENUINE CLARITY," these same "confused" individuals also reported feeling more grounded, alive and connected to their feelings and inner life. None said that they would rather go back to where they were before the "storm." And indeed, I encouraged my patients to allow themselves to become "empty vessels," and to tap into their inner knowing that could reassure them that they were never abandoned by the Universe, by their Higher Selves, by All That Is. My advice, like the airline pilot, often boiled down to saying, "Relax. Enjoy the ride. You're moving a lot faster than you think." (Well, I added in that last part!)

Which brings us to the second half... of 2013 that is. Last month, July, first month of the second half, and already I'm hearing reports of accelerations and big shifts manifesting. Oh, you thought you were going to simply remain cruising? Ha! Well, actually you are, but you will become aware of the reality that you haven't been remaining still, sitting in your window seat on this plane; you've been shifting proufoundly - internally, just not acutely noticing it. Yet.

Some of you may have noticed changes in your physical body, in your eating, sleeping and dreaming patterns, even in your memory (and that includes young people as well as older people, so it's not the "aging process" we're talking about here). These changes were preparations, the emptying, making room for the outer changes taking place and to come in the second half of 2013... and beyond. 

There will be a "landing" experience, so to speak, and an arrival to a very new "country," with new landscapes to observe, new languages to learn, and new people to meet, and the landing process will feel like an acceleration, as the take-off did. In the rhythm of expansion, contraction, rest, this will be an expansion. But unlike any that you have experienced before, in this expansion, you will be a much more conscious creator of your experiences. And as I wrote about in my post at the beginning of this year - "IT'S 2013. WHICH EARTH ARE YOU ON?" - you will be creating not from your ego and emotions, but from your Higher Self and from the collective consciousness, which at first will not feel like "creating."

So, time to fasten your seat belts again, folks!

More to come. 

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