Becoming Mikayal – Part 2

If you haven’t read part 1 of this story, you can check it out here

It takes about 9 months for a human infant to emerge from the safety and warmth of the womb. Nine months of rapid growth and development, culminating in a massive shock to the system as it emerges from the dark, warm, watery, womb space into the bright, cold and often harsh reality of the physical world. 

That’s about how long it took for the name Mikayal to gestate and develop and grow in my psyche. I did not choose that timing, at least not consciously. But I definitely needed at least that much time. There was a lot of letting go and shedding parts of myself: Identities, stories, ideas, limitations. All the things that had made me Edward were being released. Some would come back. Others wouldn’t. Sometimes the letting go happened easily… almost without even being aware of it. Other times it was incredibly painful. And, the process was intensified because much of it happened during the Covid-19 Shelter In Place. 

You know that humorous saying that “if you want to make god laugh, tell her your plans!” Well, my entire life was about to become god’s big joke! 

But it didn’t start out that way. In February, my ex-wife found out she unexpectedly needed a place to stay for 6-months. So I suggested the “crazy” idea that she could stay at my house (rent-free). In exchange, she would spend extra time with our daughter so that I could travel from April – September. I was a bit shocked when she agreed to the idea. Guess it wasn’t as crazy as I thought. So the plan was that, starting in April, I would travel for 4 – 6 weeks and then come back to spend a week or two with Galadriel. 

The first trip would be to Peru for the month of April to do Ceremony and a Shamanic Sound Healing workshop. Portugal would be next to spend time with friends, study handpan and then hop over to one of the Greek Isles for a handpan festival. Then Costa Rica and then back to Peru for a 2-week, deep dive ceremony for my birthday in September. 

I don’t have many regrets but I often wish I had travelled more when when I was younger. I went from high school right into college and straight into work. No breaks. That was the way we did it where I grew up. No adventures. No opportunities to take some time to “find myself.” So the thought of traveling for a big part of six-months felt like a beautiful opportunity to shed another layer of Edward and allow Mikayal to take root a little more firmly in the soil of my psyche.  

Well, obviously, god had a good laugh at my expense! Shelter in Place went into effect at the end of March and none of my travel plans could happen… Which left me in a difficult situation. I could have told my ex-wife that plans had changed. I mean D’uh! But that would have put her in the very stressful position of having to find a new place to live at a time when so much was unknown. So, since I had more flexibility than her, I decided that I would be the one to make alternate plans. 

That alternate plan took the form of renting a place together with my partner who had also been planning to travel during that time. When both of our travel plans got upended it seemed like, maybe, life was giving us a signal that we were meant to hang out together. So we gave it a shot. 

We both went in with open eyes… knowing this would accelerate our relationship one way or another. If not for Covid we would not have considered moving in together. But it was clearly a time when old rules didn’t apply

Living together did accelerate our relationship… not in the direction we probably would have chosen… if we had a choice. Our time together made it clear we were not meant to be long-term partners. Not a super fun time. But we handled it consciously and it was another beautiful and sometimes painful opportunity to shed more layers of Edward from my system. And again, I was the one who volunteered to leave the spot we had gotten together leaving her and a new roommate as I went on an AirBnB adventure for the next few months. 

In June I moved up to a beautiful spot in the Sierra Foothills. It was there that Mikayal finally started to feel real. There was something about being in the mountains that felt completely vibrant and grounding. I was totally inspired to deepen my morning practice: Getting up at 5:00am for 2 hours of meditation, breath-work, yoga and chi-gong under the pines. I took long afternoon hikes and/or swims in mountain lakes. Went kayaking. Wrote a ton of new songs. Recorded demos. It was a magical time! 

Two days before leaving that AirBnb I got the clear call to introduce Mikayal to the world. It was another powerful meditation through the night. Deep darkness. Stillness. A profound sense of peace infusing the space. Sometime in the early morning, the first hints of light starting to tease the arrival of dawn, I went outside and laid down under the aspirational pine trees. Tired from the long night of meditation I let myself slip into a half sleep. 

It was then that I got the call to claim the name Mikayal. 

Mikayal - Butterfly TransformationEdward was gone. Mikayal was ready to be birthed into the world

Laying there, in that liminal space, I could feel myself in the “womb.” But this womb-time was fully conscious. There was an invitation to self determination. Who was Mikayal going to be? What would he do? What did he have to share with the world? What qualities, traits, characteristics would Mikayal cultivate in this new life? 

It was quite scary to see and feel how malleable my identity was. For so long I had felt both trapped and protected by the identity of Edward. Now I was being shown that most of what I thought was “me” was nothing more than ideas layered upon ideas… Fluid threads of stories and beliefs woven into a seemingly unchangeable tapestry of who and what I thought I was. 

To grasp the mutability and impermanence of that tapestry was terrifying. To feel that I could truly stand up in that moment as a “blank canvas” was almost too much to take. 

But I did stand up, perhaps not fully embracing the opportunity to be a blank canvas, but open to being something new, something unknown. Open to becoming someone I would perhaps never fully know. Someone who would surprise me with unexpected choices and actions. 

And as before, I was very aware that the clarity of this moment would not last. It would fade with the coming light of day… and in the days to come. I wondered if I would remember this when the clarity had faded. Would I allow myself to be surprised? Would I allow myself to make choices from the place of infinite possibilities? Would I allow myself to be a blank canvas? 

Those questions would only be answered through living the new life that was being birthed… The new life that would continuously be birthed for as long as I allowed it to be free and fresh and new and uncontained and unconstrained by old stories and beliefs and identities. 

To support that intention I was guided to acknowledge the birth – and the death – by shaving my head and making a journey higher up into the mountains, into the big trees, the Giant Sequoias, to “bury” Edward

I’ll share that final piece of this Becoming Mikayal story next week. Again, be sure to subscribe in the form below so you’ll get the notice when I post the next part. 

Big Love


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