Consider something courageous that you’ve done in your life: a difficult conversation initiated with a sibling, ending an all-too-cozy-but-hyper-toxic relationship, quitting your job, selling your first piece of art, breaking a habit (phone, smoking, soda, candy, alcohol), coming clean on a long-held secret…how did you know it was the moment to act?
Over the years that I have had the privilege of witnessing health transformation and spiritual awakening, I have spent much of the time marveling at this elusive ingredient…readiness. In fact, the energy of these reclamation processes has felt more like a volcano that needed permission to explode than an underdog fighter being pushed into the ring. Those who experience radical healing do so because they are ready.
Despite my capacity to inspire, coerce, or even manipulate (shadow material I’m working on!) others to walk the path of personal empowerment, I have found that readiness is not something I can generate in another. In fact, a psychiatric medication taper attempted without that readiness is likely to end in a return to medication.
The readiness continuum is not a linear path, but a spiral one. We touch opportunities for expansion and growth, and if we are ready, we engage the shift, and if not, we may contract until the opportunity presents itself again. We are each traveling this highly personal path, exploring what we are strong enough to look at, turning the blind of denial at what we aren’t.
I’ve come to prefer this perspective to the emerging dualism of those who are awakened, conscious, or spiritual versus those who are asleep, ignorant, and materialist. We all have all of it within us. Perhaps what distinguishes us is our intentionality, our choices, and our access to love of self. From this vantage point, we are all simply ripening over time, in our own way, at our own pace. In fact, I’ve read that evil has origins in the word unripe. Could it be that what we are calling bad is simply incompletely nurtured?
How to know when you’re ready
When I review all of the big leaps in my life…the times when I had a feeling of truly and boldly honoring myself, despite my desire to retract into the known, the familiar, the “isn’t this good enough?!” version of me…I can see that I often had to encounter an opportunity many times, consider it and turn it over in my mind’s eye for months, even years, before the moment that I was ready to act.
When you’re ready, you’re ready, and not a moment sooner.
So what is the feeling of readiness? The best I can describe is that it is the sensation of relief through movement in the direction of change. That’s how you know you’re ready—because action actually FEELS better than inaction, and the option of remaining in an old pattern begins to hurt more than the fear of creating a new one.
When you’re clear and open to the twists and turns of your spiral path, you’ll simply recognize this signature of change forthcoming, you’ll turn toward it, and await further clarity. And this is how we walk the path home to ourselves. Becoming more and more integrated through the shedding of every element of our lives that is out of alignment with our most authentic essence.
The tools for readying
I believe there is a portal of discipline—a choice and commitment that we can make to reset, reboot, and initiate ourselves to a new mindset of possibility. I call this portal Vital Mind Reset, and it’s a month-long virtual life rehab. But is there anything really that revolutionary about the protocol? No, there isn’t. Vital Mind Reset is a doorway to the experience of life you know is possible, when you’re ready to reclaim it. It’s something like a personal baptism…a self-anointing witnessed by a community of like-minded and hearted individuals that declares your rebirth official. It is the fierce NO that is delivered to all of the energy drains in your life—gluten, sugar, meaningless work, TV, sleepless nights, coffee, and your dependency on any guru, or any authority beyond yourself. Vital Mind Reset is the YANG of action—decisive, precise, powerfully deliberate.
Leading up to and beyond this portal, however, is a space of safe exploration. It’s the space of a compassionate YES…a dip of the toe in the water to assess for readiness…to try on change…to revisit and revisit what might be ready for transformation. This space is perhaps the most shocking of our offerings because of its unexpected power. It makes sense that an evidence-based month-long protocol can be life-changing. It’s more surprising, however, that a monthly membership community could be life-changing. All we are doing is engaging simple, one-week-long lifestyle challenges each month…how could that possibly render results?
I’m living proof, as are so many of our Vital Life Project members that we need to marinate in the safety of community. We need to feel internally inspired rather than externally pressured. We also need the YIN of softening into ourselves and allowing with grace, for new inspiration to surface. We need to learn what it is to experience discipline without judgment. Sometimes the easiest way to reduce overwhelm is to take one small step in the direction of your self. To audaciously prioritize your healing despite the thousands of distractions that threaten to keep you spinning on your hamster wheel of a life until it’s over.
This past week I have strongly felt that ‘signal of safety’ in my body that Dr. Brogan talks about, a feeling of unshakable calm that pervades everything, that’s been quite a revelation, and a pleasure to experience, I really like it. Also I feel like, I’m just one short week, that I have broken the addictive hook of the sugar and dairy I was eating. Which has changed the way I choose foods—unconsciously versus now a more conscious decision about what goes in my mouth. Only can come out from that I feel!!
Here are a few examples from the trenches…aka, my life.
Bodies of water: finally ready to hydrate
Since working with my mentor, Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez in 2015, and subsequently through my husband, Sayer, and Dr. Thomas Cowan’s exploration of the deeper significance of water as a structured plasma in our bodies that carries information and produces energy, I’ve known of the importance of hydration. Does that mean I drank water? Nope. Turns out that information does not always translate into action and that we all have little stuck points where we rebel against the wagging finger of “should”-based wellness.
It took my own membership in Vital Life Project (years after creating and completing Vital Mind Reset!) for me to recognize that I needed to make water more exciting. I needed to be inspired rather than just scared of dehydration.
I invested in a structuring cradle, a vortexer*, and a pretty glass bottle, and I turned my water drinking into a ritual rather than simply a mundane routine. And I did this because I was ready, after many turns of the spiral, to make this change. My attention on the subject seemed to clear time, space, and energy that allowed me to level-up this one important behavior.
*https://dancingwithwater.com (save 5% with coupon code KBMD5)
Digitally detoxing, one plug at a time
Similarly, I’ve been learning about the dangers of WiFi for years. With WiFi on in my house and my phone in hand most of the day, I lived—as so many of us who are informed but incompletely ready do—with the tension of a knowing better but not doing better. It wasn’t until the Digital Detox challenge in Vital Life Project that I finally was ready to shut off my WiFi and land-line my computer, and together (with the help of some of my friends!), we learned how. Even one week before I was ready, I simply was overwhelmed by the prospect.
Then, more recently, something else shifted inside. I entered a new level of readiness towards my soul’s reclamation journey. I committed to transitioning off a smart phone, for good. Because I was ready to fully comprehend the AI/transhumanist agenda, I could finally see that what I barter for convenience apps, endless interpersonal accessibility and stimulation is, in fact, my vital force energy. I even committed to documenting my journey inside Vital Life Project.
And here’s what I’m working on today. Consumerism…
Living in the tropics (Miami), I spend a lot of time outdoors. I have an increasingly intimate relationship to the natural world, and when I encounter the ravages of our agro-industrial lifestyles such as red tide, it’s tempting to engage in a righteous condemnation of those bad corporations that are killing this planet that I am trying to save. The truth is that I’m only saving it to the extent that I am ready to. And that puts me in uncomfortable proximity to those companies I judge. Because of time scarcity beliefs and social discomfort that arises when I shop in small stores, I have fallen prey to the poison apple of “conveniences” like Amazon and Instacart that offer nearly anonymous consumerism.
But my soul is rattling its cage, and I know that there is something missing…something dehumanizing to me, to artisans, merchants, and other purveyors of goods that were once hand crafted with time, attention, and even love in this corporate model. And that my participation in this scaled convenience economy is killing this planet. My soul knows that buying a coconut water packaged in a far off land, brought to me through Whole Foods via Instacart is fundamentally depriving me of the experience of literally picking one from my yard and cutting it open. There is something I’m ready to reclaim, and I know I need help to do that…I need support, resources, and ideas…but the readiness is the most important ingredient.
I’ve often referenced Maya Angelou in saying, when you know better you do better. Perhaps there is an adjoining phrase that might help clarify the process. When you know better—and you’re ready—you do better. As Shakespeare wrote…the readiness is all. Have compassion for the parts of you that are not ready for change, and celebrate the parts of you that are by committing and choosing to put your self-discovery, your healing, and your joy first.
Togetherness happens when we open our hearts, in spite of our external and internal conditions. I think there is a natural ebb and flow of this a we contemplate or make change in our individual lives. Fear is the divider that shows up as a resistance. Vulnerability takes an open heart and connects us deeply. The more vulnerable I am, the more beautiful souls I connect with here. We have all been through deep suffering in our ways. There is such a beautiful underlying river of compassion that flows through this group.
The Vital Mind Reset program walks you through my 44-day healing protocol, which combines diet, detox, and meditation practices for long-term resolution of chronic symptoms. The tools implemented also help to establish a readiness for psychiatric medication tapers. Click below to learn more.