January was a tough year (but we made it)

I feel at the precipice of a breakthrough. What Oprah likes to call an aha moment. Or at the very least, the time has come for a proper digestion; a moment to reflect and mine for the gold.  Although it’s the running joke now, January really did start with a kick in the rear. And as February is now inching towards March, I feel like I’m finally coming up for air.

Alas, the phoenix has risen, after what felt like a long and slow death.

For starters, January began with a slower income stream: my income dried up while I renegotiated some work contracts. It was not an easy decision to make, given that I’m a single indie mama. But I lived off of credit cards, while I stood by what I now call my non-negotiables: things I am not willing to give up when it comes to exchanging my services. It was without a doubt risky business, but I felt it in my bones: the time had come for me to stand for my worth.

Job hunting is no picnic, but this was how my year began. While those contracts were being negotiated, I knew I had to find other work. I applied to a handful of things, but had my eye on one position in particular. After being turned down for an interview, I reached out and convinced them to give me a shot. I went on the first interview, then the second, and while I waited (oh, that “waiting room” feeling! The agony!) I stretched around my dollars, spent as little as I could, while simultaneously feeling the panic of financial restrictions.

The timing couldn’t have sucked more: I had just paid off nearly all of my credit card debt, and there I wasn’t swiping my way through life. But money comes and money goes, and so I felt somewhat at ease, knowing and trusting that I am more than capable to hustle and get back up on the financial horse. I remember reading a post from a woman I admire, saying something along the lines of “sometimes I have $50,000 in my savings, and sometimes I am $50,000 in debt”. The point being that she trusts the money will come, just as it will go.

As I waited to hear back from the job I wanted, I did what I’ve been doing every time I have asked for something this past year: I fervently prayed.

The prayer comes from Florence Scovel Shinn’s book The Game of Life for Women and How to Play It. It is a request for something specific, with the catch being that one needs to be completely unattached to the result. It goes like this:

“If this is mine by Divine Right, then I am open to receive. If it is not, I am open to receive something like it or better.”

I’ve also been saying it every time I think I meet “the one”, my next love. In the past few months, I have gone on a handful of well-intentioned but seemingly meaningless dates. I stay open to the possibility (because hey, you never know). Uttering these words at the onset of an encounter has gone hand-in-hand with my practice of celibacy. I’m the kind of person that is more than willing to dive right in, when the connection is made and the conditions are right. So between not hooking up and saying a prayer, I’ve managed to dodge more than one proverbial bullet.

On one of these first dates, I was asked what my dealbreakers are. To my surprise, I had to actually sit there and think about it. The fact that I couldn’t answer with at least my top 5, to say the least, felt alarming, because THIS is one question I should know the answer to.

That night, I went home and began writing down a list of things I will not tolerate or allow. And have since been adding to here and there.

I love knowing that my heart is open. Even more though, I love fine-tuning my discernment. I’m learning how to sniff trouble and see the red flags from miles away. Just as I’m learning to pray for what I most desire, I’m also understanding what my dealbreakers and boundaries are. This is where celibacy really kicks ass: when the time comes, it is so damn easy to walk away or say farewell.

So as I’ve been praying my way through possible potential relationships, I have simultaneous been praying for this specific work position. But only If it was mine by Diving Right.

One of my spiritual practices these days comes from Eckhard Tolle’s book A New Earth. He writes in depth about the practice of being present. Essentially, I’m doing what I must to be a healthy, purposeful, compassionate and vibrant human, but more importantly, remembering the being part.

January sucked because it was so stinking hard to just let go. Let go of the fear of lack (ah! no income!), let go of the shame (I must suck!), and because I held on, my energy body felt quite heavy. My day-to-days lacked motivation, drive, and inspiration. Remembering to just be, and not get tangled up in the fear and the thoughts, was not easy but it helped to carry me through.

I badly needed a job, something steady while I build my business on the side, but I was careful not to will it. Really careful not to mess with Divine Flow. Only being willing to accept and receive if it was mine by Divine Right.

And then, the phone call came. The excitement built up. I could feel it. They said that the hiring committee had chosen someone else for the position. I heard those words and had almost no reaction; truly, it was as though I had heard the phrase “it’s a little cloudy out.” I felt the words go right through me and kept breathing. At that moment, I understood in my body what trust feels like. And then, they said that they had liked me and my skillset and wanted to create a position for me.

That exhale. That release, that ahhhhh. I graciously accepted, feeling right there in the flow of things.

Not to my surprise, this opportunity has opened the gate of flowing abundance. I kid you not: the work contracts I had been renegotiating since December worked in my favor; while other work has been coming my way right and left (a lot of it exciting and interesting). It’s becoming hard to choose which to say yes to.

But if going on blind dates has taught me anything, discernment is everything.


My name is Mishel Ixchel. I’m Ecuadorian-born &
NYC-bred. Western Mass is currently home, and it's also where I practice + teach the art of
Sacred Self Care.