Ever notice yourself resisting what you need the most?
I recognize myself doing this and from a young age, I can recall resisting reality. I didn’t want to stop playing to tend to my body’s needs to eat or eliminate. I didn’t want to have adults controlling my life, but they and their schedules did. And so I practiced the one type of control I had, which was over the thoughts in my head. This may seem funny to you but I would spend hours looking at the JCPenney catalog and deciding what I would choose if I could make all the decisions for life: setting up a house, a wardrobe to wear, Christmas presents to give and what I would buy with my own money. It was a way to exert control over my experience and to avoid aspects of life that were too much for me to handle, even as a young child. This blend of escapism and control helped me get through some very rough periods in life.
But as an adult, the tendency to seek to control turned into my being responsible (at least in my own mind) for much more than was mine to own. That tendency to avoid the real issue and escape instead meant that I created a life by default without consciously choosing what I was creating. Sure, I got to pick out the food I bought from the store, the clothes I would wear, how I would furnish my home, which degree to pursue, but it all might as well have been in a land of make-believe like the worlds I would create for myself with the pictures from the catalog.
The thing I didn’t learn until my thirties was how to know who I really was beyond the surface level, beyond these simple, surface level catalog based choices. It took time to see what I was truly good at and guide myself, my thoughts, my emotions, my actions in a way that would honor who I was and my souls’ desires that were whispering in my ears.
I didn’t learn this in school, from my parents, through self-help books (even though I read a lot of them). I ended up learning this through trial and error, through deeply listening to my own inner wisdom, and by paying attention to what worked rather than what didn’t. I learned to open myself up for brief periods of time so that people could see parts of the real me. And with this, I learned it was okay to be who I really am, that I didn’t have to control the perspective of others, I didn’t have to be responsible for pleasing them or adjusting the way that they felt and most of all, I didn’t need to avoid my heart’s desires, in fact, that was the only true navigational tool I had.
What I had been trying to avoid most of my life were the emotions that were hard to feel, the disappointment, the discomfort, the pain I could sense in those around me (and as an empathic person, in my own body). I wasn’t willing to be there with what really was, so I constructed a life that wasn’t real. It was a mimeograph a model of a life, but since it didn’t include the real me, there was no true substance.
When I woke up to discover all of this through a painful divorce, I noticed I was feeling things again,which was something I hadn’t been doing for the longest time.Thinking I was apart from the rest of the world was an attempt to resist what is. I noticed that when I looked at what was really there, yes it was painful to feel, but the discomfort of feeling the emotion eventually shifted and changed and was a lot easier than keeping it all at arm’s length and keeping myself in an isolation chamber.
When we attempt to control a situation by avoiding it or holding ourselves apart from what we really feel, think or desire, we have exerted control in the moment and can feel temporary relief, but we can’t resist reality forever. When we try, we only distance ourselves from ‘what is’, from what we know on some level to be true. This actually disconnects us from our power and the innate navigational tools like our gut instincts and intuitive hunches. It ends up diminishing our ability to show up powerfully in life and respond authentically to whatever comes our way.
It’s only when we reconnect with ‘what is’, both internally and externally, and accept what’s really going on in our lives, regardless of the discomfort involved, that we discover what is truly possible. Within accepting ‘what is’ lies reconnection to ourselves and a reservoir of strength we can use to wield our authentic power through conscious, heart-led choices.
It’s from this place of authenticity that Self-Full Living™ is born. Even though we might have constructed a life from the catalog of choices filled with photos of a family, friends, a successful career, and a gorgeous home, if it doesn’t include you, it’s a selfless life. And not in the way that someone can honorably and selflessly serve others, but in the way that a life actually remains vacant, without its owner claiming it.
When we understand that we don’t control everything that happens: who gets elected, the weather, the myriad of situations that life offers up, but what we do control is where we direct our awareness, our mental focus, our energy, resources and time toward those gentle nudges of soulful awareness, then we begin creating our own Self-Full life. Filled with more of our heart’s desires, we experience life more fully than an otherwise two-dimensional existence. We claim our life as our own and live it fully.
And to do this, to fully inhabit our lives, we first need to slow down long enough for us to get back in touch with what is real.
That’s why I’m hosting Slow Down Sundays.
It will be a day you can set aside to slow your otherwise frantic pace of life and simply focus on DOing less and BEing more. Think of it as a speed bump for your life.
Through journal prompts, audio exercises and laser mentoring, you’ll have an opportunity to get back in touch with what’s really going on in your life, to allow yourself to slow down so that those whispers from your soul have a solid place to land and a time set aside to honor yourself.
What to Expect:
- 10:00am | We will all kick off the day together in a live video chat room (think Brady bunch meets FB Live). I’ll walk you through a meditative visualization to reconnect you to your inner wisdom. The video chat room will be open throughout the day for you to check in with questions, get clarification or for laser mentoring to remove obstacles that are showing up.
- 10:20am | We’ll each go off and work through the journal prompts and experiential scavenger hunt and meet back mid-day for check-ins and reflection questions
- 12:30pm | We’ll close with a group share (for those interested) and our commitments for the remainder of the day
- 1:00pm | Back to your life (OR … feel free to stretch out and fill in the remaining space of your day with time to nourish and refuel yourself.)
Enter your contact information below to receive the invite and details for joining me. Looking forward to connecting with you (and to you reconnecting with you, too)!