Reinvention by Dr. Elisa Robyn

The last 25 years of my life have been spent as a Dean in three different higher education institutions. This career followed my first one as a geologist working for a large oil company, a job that left me feeling as if I was living with sand paper on my soul.  I vowed that I would never stay in a situation that was so very spiritually costly again. So what do I do now that I find myself soul tired, emotionally exhausted, and facing the reality that I am no longer any type of fit with my current institution? In fact, I might no longer be in alignment with the world of higher education. 

To be completely honest, being a Dean was never my life goal. In fact, when I finally earned my PhD I was not even sure that I wanted anything to do with the university world. My experiences in graduate school ranged from delightful to exhausting to disillusioning and heartbreaking. The world of ideas can be, and should be intoxicating. But in some places, not all, the world of academic politics is much like a B movie, short on money, time and a decent plot. Or perhaps I am just tired of a world focused on measurement, assessment, pages of policy, and battles over budgets that shrink like Alice in Wonderland, and meetings that resemble a Mad Hatter’s tea party.

I feel as if I have reached the end of an incredible long book, something the size of War and Peace, and I just want to finish the last few pages. But what comes next? Do I pick up one of the books I started to read years ago but put down when the story seemed hopeless? What happens when my fear is louder than my courage, when creativity and innovation desert me, and yet are my only hope? While I can embrace the notion of reinvention, the process feels overwhelming and, I must admit, my ego is interfering with my transformation.

It is one thing to leave a leadership position for another one at a higher or similar level in another institution. It is another to walk away from a position and face those who value prestige and office size, while sailing into the unknown without any navigational devices, a title, an office, or even a guaranteed paycheck. How curious that career accolades are based on such inconsequential measures that no one who loves me really cares about. How “curiouser” that I am struggling with walking away from those assessments that I do not use as a personal measure of success. 

Contrary to urban mythology, change is not that frightening. Change would mean a new job in my field, and while that might be temporarily confusing and disconcerting, it would not evoke fear. It is reinvention however that takes courage. It takes true audacity to mirror the caterpillar turning into a liquid in order to become a butterfly. I know that reinvention is the only way to release my spirit from the bondage of external judgments and measures based on my ability to disguise my round self in a square peg world. But knowledge does not make the process less terrifying. 

There is no one way to proceed. According to Joseph Campbell if I follow someone else’s path through this new landscape, then I am already lost, which is often how I feel. But there is comfort in knowing that grief and loss and the feeling of being lost are just part of rediscovering myself. And that is the greatest gift of this transformation. I am not becoming someone new; like the caterpillar I am simply becoming and embracing who I was always meant to be.

 Dr. Elisa Robyn, a modern-day Renaissance educator and leader, is the author of The Way of the Well, a spiritual romance, and Pirate Wisdom, lessons in leadership. Her eclectic career positions include geologist, Dean of Arts and Sciences, Vice President of Academic Affairs, Futurist, and Innovative Mojo Coach. Currently, Elisa is an executive director at Regis University. She holds a Masters degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a Ph.D. from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Her most current writings can be found at:  http://w ww.elisarobyn.com

Dr. Elisa Robyn, a modern-day Renaissance educator and leader, is the author of The Way of the Well, a spiritual romance, and Pirate Wisdom, lessons in leadership. Her eclectic career positions include geologist, Dean of Arts and Sciences, Vice President of Academic Affairs, Futurist, and Innovative Mojo Coach. Currently, Elisa is an executive director at Regis University. She holds a Masters degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a Ph.D. from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Her most current writings can be found at: http://www.elisarobyn.com

/Source

Elisa Robyn

Dr. Elisa Robyn, a modern-day Renaissance educator and leader, is the author of The Way of the Well, a spiritual romance, and Pirate Wisdom, lessons in leadership. Her eclectic career positions include geologist, Dean of Arts and Sciences, Vice President of Academic Affairs, Futurist, and Innovative Mojo Coach. Currently, Elisa is an executive director at Regis University. She holds a Masters degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a Ph.D. from the University of Colorado, Boulder.

The Room 8 Tour by Kelly McClain

Well, as is not unusual for me, I’ve been having some deeeeep thoughts lately. And my mind has been very, very, very busy creating all manner of new adventures. So, I thought it would be “fun” to let explorer types do a little spelunking into the well guarded network of caves known as “Kelly’s brain”. 

So put on this Hazmat suit, sign this waiver, watch this short video on safety, then follow me. Please do not remove any glitter from this area. 

This vast matrix of sparkly caverns (hand gesture) is too much to cover in one tour so I thought we’d cover one area that is particularly relevant. If you look over there to the right you’ll see what looks like daylight...we’re going to head that way. We’re walking, we’re walking….Ok. Sir please don’t touch the gray matter. 

So this illuminated section we’re standing in is “room 8”, better known as the 8th house of the zodiac. Across the hall there you’ll see room 2, which is very swanky, and next to it, the infamous room 3. The door to room 3 (the 3rd house) remains closed at all times to contain the noise and light. You can see the light pouring out from under the door and if you listen..I think...yes today it’s jazz. That room is never dark, or quiet. It is extremely busy and while it would be a fascinating tour, it has not been deemed safe for visitors. 

But here in room 8, things are a little slower, a little quieter. This room is not always open for tour, but is more illuminated right now than it is typically. 

You’ll notice the sound of ocean waves is ambient from all corners of this space, and there are multiple fountains and water features here. Across this dimly lit and black velvet adorned sitting room, you’ll see a swimming pool. Visitors aren’t allowed to go into that area because it is the deepest pool of water known in this brain. The bottom has never been found and it is believed to lead to the other side. The owner of this brain swims in it regularly, diving down to depths that are said to be both unnerving and comforting at the same time. It is said that when she emerges, she often goes across the hall to room 3. 

This is one of the most complicated rooms here in this brain, and its experiential history is observable in the highly symbolic decor. Walk with me…

This section of the room, covered in photos, is the remembrance section. You’ll notice there’s a mixture of gold frames and black frames. The gold frames denote a loved one who has passed. And there’s an unusually high number of black frames here in this collection; those mark the lives lost to suicide. The oldest of the black frames appeared prior to the owners birth, and the next one in 1984 (with no reference to George Orwell intended). We don’t count them anymore, and we don’t know why they’re here but it is clear that they hold great importance here in this brain. This area has very limited seating, as very few others are invited in here for long. The seating in this area is arranged in such a way that all the photos can be viewed, studied, and communed with. 

Moving along, this section is pretty sexy. I ask that you please place your hands in your pockets and touch nothing, including yourself as we enter the sexuality space. Please watch your step, as the red silk can be tricky. Also please do not touch the candles and do not drip hot wax on yourself no matter how compelled you feel to do that while standing in this space. The sexual energy here, as you can feel, is palpable and intense. There are many textures in this room, and it smells faintly of blackberries and toast and no one understands this. We can’t stay in this space for too long, both because it is sacred and because guests tend to hump each other absent-mindedly...and you did sign a waiver.

we're walking...

We generally don’t spend much time in this section, but you can see, this area is covered in money. It smells like money here. This is other people’s money, which has a different vibration and scent than room 2 across the hall, where money is earned. It is rumored that the owner regularly rolls around in this area, scantily clothed, before any money comes in or goes out. Don’t touch that, sir. Thank you. 

This small area here with what appears to be an out of place karaoke stage covered in rhinestones, is perhaps one of the most interesting parts of this tour. This dais is where a great deal of painful information is processed and re-formed into comedy. This feature is not common among all brains. It has been proposed that the depth of the pool in the first area we visited, and the amount of energy contained in this stage area are directly correlated. We are not clear if this area of room 8 was created intentionally or grew from a need. You can see the window in this area peers straight into that crazy room 3, but it is paned with privacy glass so only the owner can view in. M’am, don’t touch that microphone, it won't work for you...

Moving along. 

This next section is the movie room, and you are welcome to sit here and be comfortable, if you don’t mind watching death. It is believed that this room developed out of both volunteer work with AIDS patients and volunteer work in hospice, as well as great medical curiosity and past life interest. It is, oddly, the most welcoming of the sections of room 8, and is very comfortable. All needs are met in this area, the temperature is perfect, there are snacks, beverages, reading material, poetry, an upgraded Spotify account. Much information is processed here that is transferred across the hall and then back into our next area, which we will see in action. If you find yourself involuntarily crying, it’s normal. Tissues are plentiful here. As are crayons, and we don’t fully understand this. 

Our tour concludes today with what we call “the garage”. The room 8 garage is an intense and yet creative place where new aspects of self are literally created. The conveyor belt you see transports thoughts and information from room 3 into this room for experimenting, construction, dismantling, examination, reconstruction, etc. It is in this garage that new areas of room 8 are created as needed. There is a direct and instant connection between this room and room 5, which is also not on todays tour for the same reason as room 3. Room 5 transmits creative energy into the garage here, to spark new ways of creating the self. Also of note, both of the owner’s children (who reside in room 5) have natal sun in this room 8 as well. This explains some of the connections and energy here in the garage. The garage is very busy and accessible right now, which is historically unusual. The owner’s Uranus opposition is coming to a close, to the flurry of activity here will quiet down some over the coming months. 

What I haven’t told you yet is why this room is more accessible at this time. We aren’t entirely sure what stimulates the energy in this room but it is clear that the Capricorn stellium we’ve just experienced (there are currently 4 planets in Capricorn, but there were 5 or 6 until a few days ago), as well as the intense pairing of Mars and Jupiter in Scorpio are contributing to this room 8 energy. Also, and perhaps most importantly, the owner’s solar return is imminent, and the bright illuminating sun is native to this room. Deep and difficult things come up and out during this time of year, hailing from that deep swimming pool over there. What we do know is that when the energy lessens in this area, the owner will spend more time at the public pool in room 11, sharing, communing, and celebrating with loved ones, and the library in room 9, studying and broadening the already wild energy in the infamous room 3. 

We hope you’ve enjoyed your tour. Please do not touch anything until we are in the clear zone, and don’t remove your safety suit until we are in the lobby. Please do not remove any glitter from this area and...Sir, please stop touching that…

 Kelly McClain, Priestess of Sweary Spirituality™, and The Badass Whisperer is serving up smart ass-trology and ascerbic wit to bring laughter and wholeness to the world, one person at a time.  Kelly covers the deep issues with compassion and levity. She tackles real life topics with a unique and sometimes irreverent humor, in the spirit of unlocking the love all around us. Called “The Love Guru” by many friends, she is not only the village go-to for romantic love advice, she is a dynamo on a mission to help others love themselves! She is an intuitive coach, healer, and inspirational speaker.  As a powerful empath, she has a particular ability to draw emotions out of others and then clear the emotional energy.She has been called a ''powerhouse'' when it comes to motivating and encouraging change. Her toolbox is uniquely equipped with a variety of healing modalities, which includes humor, to guide people through a process of shedding deeply programmed limiting beliefs that hamper their ability to thrive. She has a deep love for humanity, which shines through her light heart and compassionate approach.  She is an empowerment and relationship coach, intuitive healer, artist, as well as a truth teller. She is gifted at coaching people through difficult emotions such as grief, betrayal, lack of worthiness, and fear and shifting those emotions into personal power and self love. She is a psychic advisor, and author of BitchScopes at 12Listen.  She loves essential oils, rocks, glitter, the chakras, colorful everything, flip flops, humanity, her children and her tribe, and bringing joy to others.

Kelly McClain, Priestess of Sweary Spirituality™, and The Badass Whisperer is serving up smart ass-trology and ascerbic wit to bring laughter and wholeness to the world, one person at a time.

Kelly covers the deep issues with compassion and levity. She tackles real life topics with a unique and sometimes irreverent humor, in the spirit of unlocking the love all around us. Called “The Love Guru” by many friends, she is not only the village go-to for romantic love advice, she is a dynamo on a mission to help others love themselves! She is an intuitive coach, healer, and inspirational speaker.

As a powerful empath, she has a particular ability to draw emotions out of others and then clear the emotional energy.She has been called a ''powerhouse'' when it comes to motivating and encouraging change. Her toolbox is uniquely equipped with a variety of healing modalities, which includes humor, to guide people through a process of shedding deeply programmed limiting beliefs that hamper their ability to thrive. She has a deep love for humanity, which shines through her light heart and compassionate approach.

She is an empowerment and relationship coach, intuitive healer, artist, as well as a truth teller. She is gifted at coaching people through difficult emotions such as grief, betrayal, lack of worthiness, and fear and shifting those emotions into personal power and self love. She is a psychic advisor, and author of BitchScopes at 12Listen.

She loves essential oils, rocks, glitter, the chakras, colorful everything, flip flops, humanity, her children and her tribe, and bringing joy to others.

The Gift of the Overturned Truck by Elisa Robyn

Five years ago I moved my mother from the home she lived in for over 50 years in California to a lovely senior residency in Colorado where I live. While she was not a true hoarder, the house was full of junk. There were piles of random papers and over a year’s worth of mail stashed in corners. She was seduced by late night TV ads, so there were bottles of herbs and facial products stacked on shelves. Money was hidden in drawers, as were old shoulder pads and unused tissue paper. Every closet had clothing that she no longer wore hanging next to clothes that still had tags on them. 

I spent months flying in and out of LA, while working fulltime, to prepare the house for the move. We sold the three bedroom house for a great price, and I had to empty it and pack it. My mother did give a few things away, but this still left most of her belongings. So I sorted and tossed and donated and packed and finally oversaw the move itself, fighting her desire keep everything. 

The first moving truck was half packed with another families belongings, so I had to arrange for a second truck. It took two days, but finally her things were on the move. My husband drove my mom and her dog to Colorado while I worked with the movers and then flew home. That’s when things got really crazy.

One of the trucks went off the road in the middle of the desert, rolling twice, which popped open the back door. The driver was injured but walked away. That cannot be said for everything in the truck, which was strewn across the desert landscape, tattered, shattered, and in some cases, not harmed. Three weeks later I received enough boxes and furniture to fill a large storage unit and spent hot summer days sorting my mother’s life from that of another family’s. Jumbled boxes of photo albums coated in sand, clothes tangled in barbed wire, mismatched chair seats and legs next to a dinged up but functional dresser, and a couch that I was sure had been invaded by scorpions. Most of the china did not make it, but some of the plates did. Somehow my mother’s collection of miniature tea pots was unharmed. And of course there were boxes of paperwork from both family’s that had to be sorted. 

The story, of course, continues for months with insurance company claims. While I dealt with everything, my mother was comfortably adapting to her lovely new life, with all the items from the second truck, which filled her much smaller new cottage. She honestly did not know what she did not have, and was able to shop for anything she wanted. She could not even tell that we recreated two of her favorite art pieces. That, however, was not her story. 

Through the several month process friends and family asked how I was helping my mother through the trauma. Even though she never saw the storage unit or the damaged items, she recounted her painful experience and all the drama to anyone and everyone. My experiences became her story while I sheltered her from all the actual work. I was joking about a coyote sitting in a worn out chair, wearing an outdated hat and outfit, reading random romance novels, while my mother was wrapping herself in grief. 

What was the gift? I realized that my mother found comfort in hoarding painful memories, and often turned my story into hers. She lived vicariously through my laughter and adventures while collecting painful pieces to harbor and share. My wild life had always been categorized and disseminated to others in dangerous and difficult bits. But I choose to collect and share the light of laughter and joy and love, leaving pain in abandoned places for coyotes to enjoy.

elisa2.jpg

Dr. Elisa Robyn, a modern-day Renaissance educator and leader, is the author of The Way of the Well, a spiritual romance, and Pirate Wisdom, lessons in leadership. Her eclectic career positions include geologist, Dean of Arts and Sciences, Vice President of Academic Affairs, Futurist, and Innovative Mojo Coach. Currently, Elisa is an executive director at Regis University. She holds a Masters degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a Ph.D. from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Her most current writings can be found at: 

http://elisarobyn-blog-blog.tumblr.com/

Elisa Robyn

Dr. Elisa Robyn, a modern-day Renaissance educator and leader, is the author of The Way of the Well, a spiritual romance, and Pirate Wisdom, lessons in leadership. Her eclectic career positions include geologist, Dean of Arts and Sciences, Vice President of Academic Affairs, Futurist, and Innovative Mojo Coach. Currently, Elisa is an executive director at Regis University. She holds a Masters degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a Ph.D. from the University of Colorado, Boulder.