With every ending comes a new beginning.

I sense a big shift taking place as I enter this new year. With every shift comes a looming sense of uncertainty, which always triggers fear within me. I’m sitting in the discomfort as I type these words out.

I would describe the feeling as impending doom, as if a cloud of darkness hangs overhead spanning as far as the eye can see with no hope for a break or clearing. Logically, I know the heaviness will lift (it always does), but when this all-too-familiar feeling happens, I always find myself utterly convinced the depression will stay this way forever. 

I’ve come to learn this has something to do with what’s called ‘amygdala hijacking’. The amygdala is our brain’s threat detection system – those who have been through trauma are often left with a faulty ‘smoke alarm’ that leads the brain to detect threats where there are none. Most especially, in situations that bring forward feelings (emotional flashbacks) or sensory experiences (smells, physical sensations, sounds, tone, emotional energy) associated with previous traumatic events.

“When the right and left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex are deactivated, people lose their sense of time and become trapped in the moment, without a sense of past, present or future. Two brain systems are relevant for the mental processing of trauma: those dealing with emotional intensity and context. 

Emotional intensity is defined by the smoke alarm (amygdala), and its ‘watchtower’ counterweight (the medial prefrontal cortex). The context and meaning of an experience are determined by the system that includes the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and the hippocampus. 

The DLPFC tells us how our present experience relates to the past and how it may affect the future – you can think of it as the timekeeper of the brain. Knowing that whatever is happening is finite and will sooner or later come to an end makes most experiences tolerable. The opposite is also true – situations become intolerable if they feel interminable. 

Most of us know from sad personal experience that terrible grief is typically accompanied by the sense that this wretched state will last forever, and that we will never get over our loss. Trauma is the ultimate experience of ‘this will last forever’.”

Bessel van der Kolk – The Body Keeps The Score

One of my personal ‘impending neverending doom’ triggers is uncertainty. When I sense change is on the horizon, or if something unpredictable happens, or when something I feel sure of falls through, it’s as if the ground cracks open beneath me and I fall very suddenly off the edge, into the darkness. 

Today, I sense I’ve landed in this pit because of these big end-of-year shifts brewing within me. My intuition is telling me it’s because I’m ready to let go of stories and beliefs about myself that don’t serve me well. To truly let go, we must allow parts of ourselves to die, and then we need to allow ourselves time and space to grieve the loss.  

The story I’m grappling with today relates to my long-held desire to ‘make it’. My idea of what it means to make it has changed over time, and I sense this current shift has something to do with the definition changing, yet again. For a long time, making it meant achieving financial success and power by way of networking and working my way up the career ladder. For years, I dedicated myself to this cause in the Canadian film industry.

After 10+ years of chasing that goal and trying to prove myself worthy of its merits, life made it clear I had to step off this path or I might not survive, let alone make it. From where I sit now, it’s obvious that I was chasing my dreams in all the wrong ways, and for the wrong reasons. I remember how hard it was to let go of this vision I worked hard towards for so long, but I now know that this particular pathway simply wasn’t meant for me. 

From there, I fell into today’s more modern version of making it: becoming an influencer with social status. If you have followers and clout, then people believe in (i.e. validate) and endorse you. Again, ‘making it’ seemed like a relatively simple equation of hard work, discipline and determination. All that was required to reach this success status was to build my online presence and network, and then money and power (in the form of opportunities) would eventually ensue. 

I’ve been working on that for over 5 years now, and I still don’t have anything that even remotely resembles an online presence or following. Not because I haven’t tried! I work hard, I am dedicated to the cause! I’m full of great ideas, I am a highly skilled and experienced online marketer. But for whatever reason, I sense the universe is letting me know that this isn’t the path that’s meant for me either. 

But how can that be possible? How can it be that I’m not worthy of such success when I feel in my bones that I am capable of it? This fire that burns within me feels so strong, so meaningful, so powerful… it’s like an undeniable truth I know I’m meant to believe in and express through every fiber of my being… but I can’t seem to figure out how to step into my power. I’ve always had this feeling and for most of my life, I denied it. I called myself a dreamer, I felt guilty for thinking I was ‘special’.

For whatever reason, I’ve always associated this feeling, this fire within me, with fame. It’s hard to admit because I was taught to feel shame towards my desire to be seen and validated, but if I’m honest, I really do feel like I’m a bright shining star who is meant to stand out, perform, express, impress, and inspire! 

I guess it’s no wonder I associated this feeling with fame – in today’s world, if you’re a bright shining star with power, purpose, and something special to impart… then people follow you. They want to connect and interact with your energy. They look up to you. They see you and validate how special you are!

Perhaps that’s where I’ve gone wrong? Maybe the expectation that stepping into my power will result in fame is what’s blocking my energy and stopping me from embodying my truth and purpose?

All my life, I’ve second-guessed or denied this part of myself but now, thanks to ‘doing the work’, I’ve seemingly shed some of the layers of self-doubt that, for so long, stopped my light from shining through. Now, for the first time, I see proof that this force within me isn’t a fabrication of my imagination. It’s real. I see and sense evidence that there are rays of light waiting for permission to burst through as they’re meant to.

It is no longer possible to ignore, I can’t seem to deny it or push it away the way I used to. It’s as if my intuition is screaming and I can both hear and feel the truth of its reverberations in my bones. It says, “You are a bright, shining star. You have ‘it’. You are meant to SHINE. This power you feel within is energy that serves an important purpose – you are here to step into that power so you can uplift, and inspire those who seek to be supported.”


How do I take action? What am I supposed to do with this power?! I’ve made it to the part of the story where I know for sure that the fire is there for a reason, it’s meant for me, I am going to make it… but how? 

I guess I just haven’t figured out what success looks like for me yet, and that blindspot brings forward so much uncertainty. If I don’t know what I’m going after, then how am I supposed to use my brain to figure out what I need to do to go after it? I want to do, do, do whatever it takes to get there! I am willing and able, just tell me what I need to do! 

Therein lies the problem. Maybe the path forward has nothing to do with chasing through doing? Maybe the solution is to let go of outcomes and allow life to play out naturally, one day at a time, in whatever way it’s meant to… Perhaps there’s nothing to do, really? Maybe I just need to be and have faith that something greater than I can ever imagine is coming my way, as long as I let go of chasing outcomes? 

I’ve spent 20+ years vacillating between denying and fuelling that which never ceases to burn and beckon my attention within. I’ve spent a lifetime daydreaming of this version of me who ‘makes it’. I can’t help but wonder if that’s where I’ve gone wrong. Fame is so ego-oriented. The ego seeks affection and validation, and I’m quite certain that’s not what’s meant for me. I’ve not been through everything I’ve been through just so I can feel seen and flattered. I’ve survived and grown and now I thrive solely because that’s the work and the story that’s meant for me. 

My purpose isn’t to gather a following, it’s to connect and share my energy interpersonally. I always thought I had to have a following in order to create impact, but now I’m starting to realize I have everything I need within me already and there’s no need for outside validation. 

And so, on this New Year’s eve, I feel compelled to let go and say goodbye to this famous fantasy version of me that I’ve secretly aspired to step into for so long. Maybe there’s nothing to step into? Maybe it’s time to just BE the me that’s already alive and thriving. Maybe there’s nothing more I need to aspire to?

What if I already have everything I need within me? Can I accept myself as I am and trust that this feeling, this power, this fire within is just who I am exactly now, in this present moment, and in every moment forward, forever and always? What if there’s nothing I need to do about it in order for it to be honoured and deemed real?

In this new year ahead, I vow to let go of these long-held aspirations for fame and validation. Instead, as we head into 2024, I aim to step into my interpersonal power. I want to let my guard down, to reach out and connect in a way that feels humble, human, and authentic.

I vow to show up exactly as I am and have faith that everything I want and need is available to me – all I have to do is let go of the outcomes, be myself, and trust in the process.


2 responses to “With every ending comes a new beginning.”

  1. Love to see this type of introspection J. Powerful stuff. Can’t wait to see what this next chapter holds for you. Keep it up!

  2. […] been thinking and writing about this concept of ‘Letting Go’ a lot lately… here’s a post I wrote about it, and I have another one in the works I’ll post soon.Do you trust that you can let go of […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *