On choices …and death

It’s been three weeks since my last post and in the interim my entire life has changed.  Turned upside down, inside out and back again. And it ain’t even close to over yet.

I live at the farm now, in community.  At least every other day, it feels as if I might die.

In so many ways, I am dying.  At least my identity is. And from a business/financial perspective this release of my identity feels like a huge error, a tremendous mistake … I’ve wondered more than once … “is this what failure looks like?”

My mind spins all sorts of stories: Am I somehow being punished for poor choices or because I am a bad person? How can this possibly “work?”  What the f*ck am I doing?  It screams “Alexis Martin Neely, Ali Shanti, whatever your name is, just take on some private coaching clients and stop this madness!”

And yet, some part of me is keenly aware …  this is a choice, possibly one I made even before incarnation depending on what you believe about that sort of thing.

In much the same way I knew I would graduate first in my law school class and have two kids before I turned 30, I have always known I would, at some point, have to (choose to) give up everything I worked so hard to create.  I often wonder “are these premonitions or self-fulfilling prophecies?” Regardless, they are what is happening.

I am choosing to break the matrix that I have so carefully constructed around me because it has kept me disconnected from what’s real — and honestly, in many respects, I don’t even know what “real” is yet.

What I do know is that I need to relearn how to live, how to care for myself, how to be in relationship, how to take care of my children, how to connect to source, the land, and the cycles, pulse of nature and … how to generate income in a way that supports all of this and my purpose for being here on this planet.

Yeah, I’ve made millions over the past several years.  Became known for it, even.  And I did it wholly unsustainably — lots of credit, insane amounts of time and energy, relying on systems and strategies rather than Source and authentic connections.  Launch after launch after launch after launch after launch.  Exhausting, workaholic, over-achieving, constantly mult-tasking … un.sus.tainable.

If I continue, I will die.  If I stop, I will die.

So, I am choosing the path I am most afraid of … death of my identity, so I can save my soul.

Everyone I talk to who has any sort of a clue about this process says I will come out the other side stronger, more radiant and more relatable.  Right now, it just feels like hell.  Literally.

I am confronting everything I have spent my entire life avoiding.

I am choosing this path so I can lead from a place of authenticity through the frustration that most of my community is experiencing — a strong desire to unplug, disconnect, and transform while at the same time staying financially supported, rooted in reality and making a big positive impact in the world.

How is it possible? I do not know, but I am determined to find out.

And share it with you.

It would help  me a whole heck of a lot to hear from those of you who are going through it.  Are you letting go of everything you worked so hard/invested everything in to create?  Confronting what you have spent your lifetime avoiding?  What does your deconstruction look like?  Let me know, I want to hear from you — it makes my process a whole lot easier to handle when I hear about yours. Please share in the comments.


  1. Lisa P.Tuesday, August 16, 2011 at 8:19 am 

    Feel the love and community around you, Alexis, not just those in you physical locale. You are so supported in this journey and your honesty and COURAGE to break out of the expected path inspires more than you know.

  2. erika watsonTuesday, August 16, 2011 at 11:14 am 

    The Most Beautiful Gift Comes In Defying the Greatest Voices In Our Heads..It allows us to question everything. It allows us to continue to choose the paths still working. It allows us to choose new terrain and wildflowers…It allows us to live magically, empowered, and from a place of clarity, purpose, devotion, and TRUST like never before.  Keep Going Ali…You are safe. You are Loved.Seen.Heard….<3 You are truly and inspiration to those on their path of awakening…<3

  3. NathalieTuesday, August 16, 2011 at 12:55 pm 

    Dear Alexis, you will do it, you will find the way! In fact, I think you already did. You know you need to go through this to find YOUR truth. I admire you for your authenticity. I know it really takes something to confront all those things. I have made it myself (actually I am DOING it myself) and that, and only that, will make us free. Only after letting go of what we are so attached to (and SPECIALLY the WAYS OF BEING that we have unconsciously created and that we are so attached to!) we are FREE and we can really decide who we are. Lots of love!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Nathalie (from Bogota, Colombia).  

  4. CuanTuesday, August 16, 2011 at 3:24 pm 


    what a brave journey. My father passed away quite suddenly 2 months ago, and I am questioning my life purpose. What you say about connection, oh so ressonates with me. Connection is the truth of being human.
    Sadly too many people do not get to experience that.

    I admire your bold step forward.

  5. Marie-Pier Charron CompletTuesday, August 16, 2011 at 4:17 pm 


    Growth is not comfortable… We often wait for dramatic,
    painful events to accept the discomfort and let go of our old truths.


    I admire that you have decided to grow and let go just
    because you want it – not because of some external pain trigger.

  6. RobertTuesday, August 16, 2011 at 4:31 pm 

    So, what happened to all of the advice you gave in the past not to be afraid of debt? Were you wrong about that advice? Will you be helping the people you gave that advice to who are in trouble now?

  7. Gina M.Tuesday, August 16, 2011 at 4:39 pm 

    Wow.  I’ve just come across your site for the first time…and I read this.  Well, I can only say that I was drawn here.  I gave up (sold) my lucrative business in 2007 because I hated it.  I KNEW it wasn’t my calling and that I was wasting myself.  So, I’m back in school, struggling a bit financially, and can completely feel your pain.  But…I know I’m ultimately on the right path.  I’ve learned the difference between needs and wants, and I’ve learned to appreciate everything on a much larger scale.  While I’m still not sure where my path will lead, I know I’m going to be much better off in the long run.  Sounds like you will too.  Best of wishes on this journey you’re undertaking.  It won’t be comfortable most of the time…but we really don’t learn much from comfort, do we?  You’ll be fine and very proud of yourself in the future.  Good luck!  I’ll be checking in on you.

  8. JoeyTuesday, August 16, 2011 at 5:46 pm 

    Good lordy, hehee! Guess of the first few thoughts in response to this river is, LOVE is the real and fake but mainly real 🙂 > Next, out this buzzz word “AUTHENTIC” anyone claiming some kind of authenticity is full of shit, everything u r, have or do is a layer thats been shared w u in some way shape of form by the great loveness. U claiming anything as your own in total, isn’t authentic or genuine unless ur paying homage to source and the many sources that brought u to that point of ur creation of U (ur identity/ego that u construct each moment from your resource pool of experiences) and all extension of u (ur production in this experience of life). Ur definitely living (dying a little every moment perhaps technically). As u mentioned with the self-fulfilling prophecies, what u focus on expands, u r living the dream of love and peace into existence for the sake of ur children as the myriad of lineage b4 u has done. Only ur working with a more advanced toolbox 🙂

    “Huge error” “tremendous mistake”, careful with aiming those poison darts at yourself. We learn from the mistakes, they’re cherished gurus 🙂 > If ur a “failure” ur still knotted in judgment and competition, let go. Ur able to b an attorney, u can play that mike tyson punch out game. U can also observe the game being played without attachment. No time for the “bad person” guilt trip, ur a good girl w dependents and ur going to figure it out because ur ready, willing and able. 

    U’ve been gifted with a special chance to bridge worlds, u have the tools to create in the multitude of realities. “If u build it they will come” the people u’ve connected to, this lattice of people that accept u as an example, roll model, mentor, leader, need someone with half of brain to teach them how to love each other. Thats “what the fuck ur doing”, it’s a process, u have access to people with this knowledge, assimilate it and delegate, like good leaders do. 

    As for accruing money, sustainability is relative to the sphere within which ur creating, what works in the world ur creating in is important. Differentiation between worlds(could be thought of as games or shows) is crucial. If u have a way of creating cash in one world to give u room to grow/move, enhance, mobilize ur support (ur family of friends) in another world, keep that ball rolling if u can. N this current mind state w no cash flow dreams r much trickier to materialize.

    With relationships, trust ur instinct, if u feel manipulated, judged, unloved, listen to ur temple, consider the advice u’ld give a friend on the emotion ur experiencing (that’s the voice of ur instinct) and act on it.   

    Yes, perhaps u’ve been swimming this eternal stream for many incarnations, which i sense u have been, all just practice for this extra special shot at a life of love now. Maybe! .~*~.                                      

  9. AnonymousTuesday, August 16, 2011 at 8:06 pm 

    Death of the identity… it’s what the spiritual process is about. Thankfully I am supported by my Isha yoga & meditation practices which keep me feeling great 🙂

  10. Melanie Benson StrickTuesday, August 16, 2011 at 11:46 pm 

    Kudos Alexis.

    So weird, just today I wrote a blog post about The Dark Side of Over-Achievement. I’m a born driver, I prided myself on creating a seven figure business by my early 40’s (alone without a husband or significant other) and yet, I found that ego-based identity falling away 2 1/2 years ago in the most painful, humiliating way possible.

    I realized that I had bought into the hype and carefully crafted marketing messages (invest in you no matter what you have to do, focus on playing bigger, etc, etc.) at the expense of my happiness and well-being.

    What I’ve learned is that in order to have a successful business we can sustain it has to be built on a foundation that’s more than solid funding, systems and a profitable model.

    It has to be aligned with the core of our genius. Not what we think people want to buy…what is real for us. As leaders we are followed by others because they want what we have. And yet if what we have is not built on a foundation that is duplicatable by others, then it can’t be taught until we shift our perception of what real success is.

    Its a huge shift to recognize that its our responsibility to build a business on principles that are good for you, good for others, and good for the planet. That’s the ONLY way they can last the test of time.

    Welcome to your real transformation darlin’. Its gonna get darker, it will eventually be lighter, but it will never be more real than this.

    Time to shed what no longer fits with the REAL Ali/Alexis, release what was created from ego, and step into your real genius.

    Much love,


  11. Gemini AdamsTuesday, August 16, 2011 at 11:57 pm 

    So excited for your choice. One I made many moons ago and since then life has become waaaaaaaay more beautiful. Surrender girl. You will be caught. Blessings x

  12. Carol RothTuesday, August 16, 2011 at 11:59 pm 

    Hey Alexis,
    Sounds like you are going through a defining time. Your words are very powerful. I am not sure of all of the details, but you are a smart cookie and what I do know is that smart cookies will find a way to succeed, whatever you choose that definition to mean to you.

    You have my support.

  13. Amy Neal MiyamotoWednesday, August 17, 2011 at 12:05 am 

    Alexis, I am right there with you… Aho!  Although how we have uniquely chosen to manifest this “death of the old self” looks different, I have been in a similar process over the last year.  I think I remember sharing the title, The Heroine’s Journey with you last year…well I have been livin’ every step of it.  I currently find myself in the process of Initiation and Descent to the Goddess.

    “When we recognize our spiritual daughterhood in the patriarchy we have some excavation to do.  We have to reclaim the parts of ourselves that were ours before we cloaked ourselves in the vestments of the culture…(p102)

    “Meeting the Dark Mother…During the descent, a woman experiences a period of introversion or depression, a slow painful self-pregnancy in which she scrapes away her identification with ego-consciousness and goes back to a state of body/mind knowing before there were words.  She may feel an incredible sense of emptiness, of being left out, shunned, left behind, without value.  She may feel homeless, orphaned, in a place in-between….If she can allow the descent to be a mindful initiation, she need not become lost in the dark…(p.105-106)

    In a recent shamanic journey it was revealed to me that I am a “Woman Who Walks First in Darkness” so that others can follow my trail… I have a feeling  you share a similar thread of feminine medicine. 😉

    Yeah…that is what I have been up to during 2011 – so you are not alone.  The thing that is very clear for me is that my relationship with money from here on out is one of a Love Economy rather than the old Fear Economy.  Since this is still a new energy that is being ushered in right now a clear path has yet to be cleared and many are still unaware that there are two distinct roads to choose from which can make for alot of external confusion.

    Keep leaning in my Sister Goddess you are indeed bring light to this new path.

    Oh and you may find this film project in alignment with what you are up to… 😉

  14. AnonymousWednesday, August 17, 2011 at 12:07 am 

    Hi Robert, I do not want anyone to be afraid of debt.  I am glad that I have invested in my education and businesses, as I have. I cannot do it anymore because I have invested as much as possible and if I had more credit, I would use it to invest in that which I believe in. Fortunately, I invested in that which that can never be taken away from me, whether I end up being able to pay back all the debt or not.  I do see myself helping people in debt learn to deal with that debt once I deal with my own.  There is so much shame and guilt that is unnecessary around debt, don’t you think?

  15. AnonymousWednesday, August 17, 2011 at 12:09 am 

    Yes Amy the Love Economy — I first discovered it at Burning Man and I know it is real.  I am so grateful for how you keep showing up to share your path as I share mine.  I cannot wait for us to spend time together in person.

  16. Amy Neal MiyamotoWednesday, August 17, 2011 at 12:13 am 

    Ding ding ding Melanie – you are right on target…and an additional piece that I have realized is a key to the whole enchilada is having the foundation of what we create be based on what brings us true heart-JOY.  As a former over-achiever) which cost me my health to a great degree – I realized a huge price was the loss of true JOY?FUN/PLAY in my life.  It is hard to BE light and have fun when one is “driven”  Dedicated or devoted …yes…driven…not so much…

    Thank you for continuing to show up in your truth and transparency…takes great courage my dear! 😉 ;

  17. Amy Neal MiyamotoWednesday, August 17, 2011 at 12:14 am 

    Ding ding ding Melanie – you are right on target…and an additional
    piece that I have realized is a key to the whole enchilada is having the
    foundation of what we create be based on what brings us true
    heart-JOY.  As a former over-achiever) which cost me my health to a
    great degree – I realized a huge price was the loss of true JOY?FUN/PLAY
    in my life.  It is hard to BE light and have fun when one is “driven” 
    Dedicated or devoted …yes…driven…not so much…

    Thank you for continuing to show up in your truth and transparency…takes great courage my dear! 😉 ;

  18. Amy Neal MiyamotoWednesday, August 17, 2011 at 12:25 am 

    Yes – I have been so very fortunate to connect with a number of amazing local Goddesses here in San Diego who have been modeling the foundations of this Love Economy (not surprising most are not really connected with internet marketing culture)… it is definitely a path that requires full trust in self and faith in spirit (both growing edges for me…fun stuff!).  😉  I’m currently participating in a 6 month Temple Priestess Initiation program and the magic is a really starting to heat up over here.  I am confident we will see each other in person again down the road a bit. Love to you. 😉

  19. StephanieBeebyWednesday, August 17, 2011 at 12:38 am 

    Cuan.. I had my father also cross over quite suddenly about 4 years ago and that was the beginning of my *path to hell and back* it definitely allowed me to face some of my biggest fears. Some of them I had known and others that just came up… I so hope that you know that YOU are loved and supported. That he still loves you and supports you.. One of the best things someone taught me back then and I will share with you now.. is that they are wanting to connect with us from the other side.. though at our lower vibration it is not always possible, so you can summon him in a dream and have healing conversations there! It was one of the most powerful processes I have done to talk to my dad once again.. in a dream-state.. it was healing, and heart-fulfilling. Sending you lots of love…

  20. StephaniebeebyWednesday, August 17, 2011 at 12:42 am 

    What I have found through this process of *re-birth* and *re-awakening* is that it helps to continue to be authentic and honest with yourself, like you are doing here. To also know that YOU can also find a way to be financially supported as well as fulfilling your Spiritual Path in life. Looking to the resistance and seeing where I have not allowed myself to fully step in to the GREATNESS of the alignment of being with a new definition of success. By allowing the patterns that once served my *old* successful life to be replaced and re-wired by more of a presence of Wholeness. I also seek deeply to allow it to be a graceful transition and integration. I have found by working with my guides and all those that are here to support us.. it makes it much easier to simply allow.

    Appreciate your complete transparency and know that YOU are leading from a new place of this TRUTH and there is LIGHT within all of the foundations that seem to be built on sand..

  21. GlreadWednesday, August 17, 2011 at 1:01 am 

    Thank you for sharing your experience as I feel that it assists me too! I am always glad to read and connect with you and your stuff.  Being a minister I have had to get really friendly with death…death of my old life, death of friends, death of relationships and death of what I defined reality as.  I have been in this process many years and still am in this process and dying to many things right now in my life.  Surrender is so hard (does not need to be that is what I have heard LOL!) and I find that in this place of death that I am more whole, more present and getting really comfortable with the ground moving under my feet as there really is no other choice for me as I embrace “dying daily”. 

    I have followed your stuff for awhile now from behind the scenes and wanted to post to you to say Rock On!  I think it is beautiful to see you willingly put yourself in this place and make the choices you are making…inspires me…gives me hope. I feel that we are all being asked to die to the old because the new has arrived on Planet Earth and none of us can truly envision how awesome it will be when the stink of death is finally off of all of us….Keep on Keepin On cuz your rewards are not of this Earth even though they will manifest here in a more authentic you!  There are no mistakes on the Path..only tests, challenges and lessons to be learned! Boy, am I talking to myself! LOL!  God/dess Bless you Ali Shanti!   

  22. Caren GlasserWednesday, August 17, 2011 at 1:10 am 

    Wow… this is a very timely post.  I, myself, walked away from “life as I know it” 2 years ago and it feels like I am starting all over.  I don’t want to repeat the same mistakes I made and yet it is hard not to fall into the same traps.  I desire to live an authentic life.  One that is debt free and fully sustainable.  Can it be done?  I don’t know.. but it is a journey that I have consciously chosen to take. 

  23. KerriFriday, August 19, 2011 at 2:34 pm 

    Love this phrase: “death of my identity, so I can save my soul.” It’s huge. 

    Melanie is on point too. 
    For me, it’s always going back to Be Do Have. Our core values and our business values must be aligned or we are out of integrity. We have more to offer when our business(es) are based on who we are and it takes less effort to deliver our best.

  24. paradigm unlimitedFriday, August 19, 2011 at 2:38 pm 

    What you are doing now publicly, I did privately about three years ago. Congratulations for having the courage to see differently, for stepping out in faith –albeit shaky at times. Wish I could assure you that this was absolutely right. You already know the feeling was compelling enough for you to make big changes in your life. Most people regret the things they DON’T do. Go with the experience you have chosen — confident that if you decide at some point it is no longer what you want, you will be able to deal with whatever comes. Many blessings to you, Alexis.

  25. Sheila B.Friday, August 19, 2011 at 2:45 pm 

    Wow, right on Paradigm!!

  26. KayMonday, August 22, 2011 at 8:20 am 

    My comment on “Choices…and death” by Alexis is two-fold and brief. First: only when you did really let go (that is stop trying so hard and fully accept the status quo, the constellation and flow of the now) will you float out of the tunnel at the other end. That is when the new constellation and flow will emerge and lift you up. Secondly: a practice in order to survive and thrive is composed of three steps. Rooting, gridding and spinning. Practice that regularly at  the day’s start and finish and as often as usefull in between. Of course I can elaborate, if you’d like me to. Blessings, Adelaar

  27. Kimberly CainTuesday, August 23, 2011 at 5:52 pm 

    Great post, Alexis. And a lot of wonderful comments from what seems to be a very supportive community. One of the things I noticed in Amy’s post was: 
    “…fortunate to connect with a number of amazing local Goddesses here in San Diego who have been modeling the foundations of this Love Economy (not surprising most are not really connected with internet marketing culture…”

    I totally get this. I am, myself, dealing with the internet marketing culture that I don’t much like, yet find people here & there whom I want to connect with more fully & real-ly. My roots are spiritual & to share the gifts that I carry & intend to use for healing & empowerment of others, I know I’m meant to share it in this environment. As a highly connected person, capable of deep intimacy, this is difficult for me – the absence of seeing your beautiful faces or hearing your voices as we talk. So, I’m walking it & learning.

    I appreciate you, Alexis, for making your struggle to move from your former culture to a more sustainable, heart-centered place. I’m not quite sure why I’m drawn here in the online world, except that maybe our energies are meant to meet in the middle.



  28. RachelleTuesday, August 23, 2011 at 7:25 pm 

    You know I am, love.  I’m with you, I support you, I understand, I have faith and fear and wonder.  It is death.  I feel it almost everyday too.  

  29. MatthewWednesday, August 24, 2011 at 6:47 pm 

    Sad indeed, you have been brainwashed, beware of the kool-aid……you really should better research the person behind this movement you have been conned into……I will pray for you!

  30. SamThursday, August 25, 2011 at 12:41 am 

     she’s got faith but…

  31. ElizabethFriday, September 9, 2011 at 2:56 pm 

    What does identity even mean? It’s an artificial construct, an image, a way you define yourself in terms of how you think you appear to others. Let it all go and just be you without the boundaries of a definition.

    I went through the first 40 years of my life on autopilot, doing what I thought I was supposed to be doing. I had some life changing experiences that woke me up, made me realize I wasn’t even paying attention. It was painful and difficult, but now I’m doing what I want to do, every single day.

    My kids (the older ones, at least) are so far ahead of me. At college and nearly-college age, they’re already making decisions based on how they want to live their lives and what their priorities are, not solely on getting ahead or fitting into a piece of the matrix. So they don’t always push themselves to the limits of their possible achievement, and I’m so proud of them for it! 

    Our resources (especially time & energy) are limited, and we each get to pick how we spend those resources, never knowing how many precious days we’ll get. 

  32. Tarley ReedWednesday, September 21, 2011 at 6:07 pm 

    There is so much truth and vunerablity in what you said. I felt every bit of it and I thank you for putting it out there! I’ve felt like I was dying so many times through out my life and understanding it’s not literal, just an identity, doesn’t necessarily make it that much better when in the middle of it. However, sharing with others and having a support system does and reading your blog made a difference for me. Thank you! I also appreciate what Amy and Melanie had to say. I believe our environment shapes us so much and to have relationships with others who believe and act as do is so valuable in my world. I guess that is where I am in my life….creating a new environment, new friends…and I run into your post…perfect.  You are a gift. I am grateful for coming across you.

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