Integration. Ali Shanti and Alexis Neely. Absolute clarity about how these two seemingly vastly parts of me fit together in the world.
Finally. And, I wish it had been easier. While I no longer seem to have inner conflict around who I am, there does seem to be some residual external conflict I am working through.
And, given that this is just year 2 of what I imagine to be a 7-year cycle of full integration, that makes sense to me.
My massive inner conflict, created as a result of the conflict between my parents, and my dad’s unconscious hatred of the feminine, has played out over the course of my life.
Trying so hard to be the good, successful girl that my dad wanted me to be. Trying so hard to prove to myself that I was good enough and smart enough. Trying so hard to deny the parts of me that weren’t good and couldn’t be successful because of who and how my dad was.
By way of update for those of you who are new here, back in 2010 I discovered a core split in my understanding of who I was, and I began to figure out how to live into my truth.
Prior to that, I knew myself as Alexis Martin Neely, lawyer, mom, pursuing all the success, and having it. Million dollar businesses, TV, radio, best-selling book, kids in private school. You know, the whole thing. But quite unhappy. I knew there was something more, but I didn’t know what it was.
I had pursued all the measures of traditional success, one after the other, hitting my goals repeatedly. Every single one. All the gold stars. Only to get there, and feel empty and a knowing that something was missing.
I spent the next 7 years figuring out what that missing thing was. It has felt like a journey of a thousand years. And it was all happening publicly, on my blogs and on Facebook. In my businesses. On podcast interviews.
For someone who once identified as a 3 on the Enneagram (today I am much more sure I am a “4” with a strong “3” wing), it was extremely confronting. I had to face all of my deepest fears of being misunderstood and maligned. But, I couldn’t hide from it. I knew that everything I was seeing outside myself was a reflection of my own internal consciousness, and until I healed those parts within, I would simply keep seeing the external reflection of it again and again.
So I did the work. I embraced the part of myself that felt weird, and unacceptable. I lived Ali Shanti out loud. And I began to trust more and more that the people who got me were the people I wanted to work with and play with, and the people who didn’t, weren’t.
The biggest challenge along the way was wondering if I could both be a lawyer, and serve lawyers with my trainings and teachings, and be Ali Shanti.
I didn’t think so. In fact, I was sure I couldn’t. There was no way that lawyers would accept Ali Shanti. It turns out, though, that my own inner lawyer, Alexis Martin Neely, wasn’t accepting Ali Shanti. And, as soon as I resolved that, it would all begin to resolve outside of me as well.
Today, most of the lawyers I serve know me as both Ali Shanti and Alexis Neely. Many of them even refer to me as Ali. It wasn’t them rejecting me, it was me rejecting me.
Have you ever heard of pre-emptive rejection?
It’s a thing where instead of facing the risk of rejection from others, and the pain of abandonment, you reject first. It mostly comes up in the context of dating. But, apparently, I’ve been doing it my whole life.
High school. I was sure I had no friends. I was outcast by the other girls. And, while it was true, some people didn’t like me, looking back I don’t think it was actually everyone who hated me. But I created that reality. I pre-emptively rejected everyone before they could reject me.
It created a very lonely existence.
Well, it turns out, I was pre-emptively rejecting myself. My Ali part was rejecting my Alexis part was rejecting my Ali part. Yes, lots of self-hatred going on in there.
The good news is, I’m not doing that anymore.
I broke the cycle of that a few years ago when I was in Costa Rica on a permaculture farm. I wondered why I didn’t just live there all the time. It would be so great. The warmth, and the ocean, and so much deliciousness growing everywhere. Why would I ever leave?
I went through a full death process in that consideration. I even considered faking my own death so my kids could get the insurance money and be taken care of while I gave it all up. Obviously, I reached the conclusion that I couldn’t/wouldn’t do that.
But, through it I got to see that some part of me wanted to die. AND, some part of me wanted to live.
So I began to ask myself the question, if I was to fake my own death, what would live on? What parts of me did I want to keep?
In that process, I found my heart. I remembered who I am. I embraced my inner lawyer, and my inner hippie, and my priestess, and my business woman. I remembered all the parts of myself that I love and found the way that they actually all want the same thing.
All of my parts love my kids.
All of my parts want to serve.
All of my parts love the work I do for lawyers.
All of my parts love the work I do with families and business owners who need a lawyer, but want a lawyer who can truly meet them in all of their parts.
All of my parts love the dream of a world that works for everyone.
And, all of my parts are equally afraid.
What I discovered is that I (the big “I” in here that is the One who is watching it all and writing all of this) can hold all of my parts through what’s scary. I don’t need to reject any of it. I don’t need to perpetuate the conflict. I can be with what’s here and love it all.
So, I’m writing a book about this journey because I think there may be others out there in the world living in internal conflict, as I have. And, I’m about to relaunch a website around Family Wealth that has been waiting for me to come around and remember what I’m here to do. And, I’m continuing to co-steward the Starhouse transition project so that we have a place where world leaders can come and do the healing/integration work that will be critical to the rebirthing of humanity.
And, that’s my update for March 2018. <3