My time at the house on the rock is almost done. My six month lease finishes in two weeks and I’ve decided not to renew. It feels like the work I needed to do in this house is finished and it’s time to move a little closer to the world.

So in the past few weeks, I’ve started to look for a new place to live. It’s been a little bit tricky, because I want to live near the beach and the real estate market is tight, with way more demand than supply. Plus I don’t have a job, so I can’t produce the kind of standard documentation that encourages an agent to easily approve my application. And honestly, it felt a bit like hard work to have to find a place on my own, without a partner, yet again. I’d been compulsively trawling the main property websites several times a day and attending a few inspections. Then last week, I found a place I liked (it wasn’t perfect, but good enough) and submitted an application.

Straight afterwards, I went to see my cosmic chiropractor. He hadn’t even touched my body when he leant down to the table and whispered in my ear: “So what’s going on at the moment? Because we haven’t seen this old pattern for a while now.” I told him I was looking for a place to live and I only had two weeks left before I had to move. He replied “Well – you’ve fallen right back into the masculine patterning of trying to force it, instead of opening to receive and letting it find you. Let’s shift that, shall we?”

And we worked our magic and it shifted and I felt immeasurably better. I hadn’t realised how tight and hard and anxious I’d become until it changed. My gut clenched, my digestion went haywire, my shoulders got really tight and my jaw set into the old defensive posture. It was a very familiar pattern, one that I’ve lived with for most of my life. Because I used to believe that if I had to take care of myself, the only way I could do that was to act like a man. Figure it out. Push. Control. Make it happen. Because I couldn’t trust the feminine. I could not allow myself to be held by Her. I simply had too much evidence, too early in this life, that it wasn’t safe to relax and receive.

I knew it was an old trap but, even though I’ve done years of work to clear those beliefs and heal the related trauma, at some level my body still held it all to be true.

I always know when I’m close to some sort of breakthrough… because some part of my psyche that feels threatened starts jumping up and down and waving its arms and shrieking “look over here!!!” in an attempt to keep me distracted and prevent change. So it wasn’t really a surprise that in the past couple of weeks, I’d been visited by my old friend doubt. I actually fell right into a doubt spiral, triggered partly by the uncertainty about where I would live next. A voice whispered: “The real estate market is really tight right now. It’s very competitive and you can’t afford to spend too much. The real estate agents will hate the fact you don’t have a job and can’t demonstrate income. You’ll end up living in a shitty brick box surrounded by other poor people.” This first voice sounded very familiar and pretty much resembled the standard Inner Critic with a helping dose of the Pessimist, both of which I’ve worked with before.

It took a couple of days to really recognise and call out this voice of doubt. But then I saw that the doubt was also partly related to near-silence in response to my declaration of the intention to start working 1:1 with people. A voice whispered: “See? You’re not ready. How dare you claim to have restored your soul? You’re not even close to that. You don’t have the qualifications, the intuitive sense or the experience you need to do well. No-one will want to work with you. Even your soul sisters think you’re over-reaching. You’d better just go and get a job before you run out of money.”

It took me a while to notice that the second voice felt slightly different to the first… or more correctly, that the impact of its words felt different. While I could fairly easily recognise the first voice as expressing garden variety survival fears, the second voice was something else. It was far more concerned with keeping me small, stopping me from using my natural strengths and silencing my Soul’s voice. It spoke with great authority and instead of simply creating fear, sought to generate shame.

When I acknowledged the shame, I realised I’d had an encounter with what Sidra Stone calls the Shadow King – the internalised patriarch that holds women separate from their feminine power. The Shadow King is a part of the psyche that we all share, because it’s our natural response to several thousand years of the distorted masculine suppressing both the divine masculine and the divine feminine. In a defensive manoeuvre, we internalise the patriarchy and do its work on ourselves by valuing and trusting typically masculine attributes, behaviours and strengths over more feminine ways of being and doing.

The first step towards unsettling the Shadow King from its seat of power is to learn to see it. I’d finally started to do that, but it took me a few more days to see there was a link between the masculine mode of doing that I’d fallen back into and the voice of the Shadow King. As I pushed harder, it shouted louder. As I paid more attention, it yelled at me and became even harder to ignore. As I ignored the signals coming from my body, the most unhelpful masculine parts of my psyche gained the upper hand.

Seeing this complicated but direct interaction between my body and psyche was both fascinating and humbling. It was a beautiful reminder of how most of the wisdom worth listening to lives within and is sourced from my body. And of how the solutions I figure out with my mind are never as elegant or effortless as those orchestrated by my body and Soul working together.

Because two days after my session with the cosmic chiro, a little advertisement popped up on the Gumtree classifieds website for a sweet-looking apartment on a hill right near the beach. It was advertised for rent by the owners, who are going travelling for 4-6 months and want someone to take care of their home while they are gone in return for a very reasonable rent. I called them, had a brief chat and went to see them the next day. They’d had a lot of responses to the ad, but had narrowed their shortlist down to me and one other woman. I spent two hours looking through their breathtakingly beautiful home, drinking tea and talking about our lives. I loved them and their apartment instantly. I knew they liked both me and the other applicant and still hadn’t made a decision. As I left, I said “whatever happens, I’m so glad I met you”… and I meant it. Even though I really wanted the place and had no idea whether they would choose me, I didn’t feel anxious. Instead it all felt easy and clear and right, because I knew if this one didn’t work out there would be something else.

By the time I got home, I had a voicemail saying they would love for me to take care of their apartment while they’re travelling. After I stopped squealing and dancing around my kitchen and laughing like a lunatic, I realised She’d just served me a hugely valuable lesson. Because literally hours after I stopped pushing, the solution appeared. And the deal was done in little more than a day, without a real estate agent in sight. All I had to do was follow Her nudges, show up, tell my story and trust that She had my back.

But what’s even more precious is this: now I know that whenever the urge to push arises in the future, this experience can be my touchstone. It’s my reminder of Her power to provide everything I need, in perfect timing, if I’m willing to let Her take the lead. I am beyond grateful for my new home and for the teaching that took me there.