May I make a not-so-wild guess at why you're here?
Either you're a person who's reached the point where not being 100% you, is making you 100% dissatisfied.
[Or, you're working in teams or with managers and leaders where there is dissatisfaction, blaming, negativity and burnout.]
You've realised how often you give away your power or get in the grip of victim or pessimistic thinking. You feel afraid of pretty much everything and rarely speak up or hold your ground in relationships. Waking up feeling flat and tired and overwhelmed is your 'normal'.
You're over-thinking things that go round in circles in your head, expecting the worst to happen, and there's a serious lack of healthy risk-taking and forward-action in your world. The voice in your head isn't always kind and it's definitely not the voice of optimism and possibility.
I can relate to this because this was me, for most of my adult life, until I discovered how much easier it was to be the whole of who I was.
Like many others, I learned in my childhood that the way to get love and approval was to be a good girl, work hard, keep things harmonious and not cause any trouble. So the adult me hated failing or being wrong, letting others take charge and have their needs met way before mine, had no sense of how to be angry, even when taken advantage of, couldn't face any emotional discomfort related to speaking up, had hardly any sense of who I was, and no boundaries whatsoever. Fertility issues and not being able to becoming a mother compounded the sense of shame I felt about not being enough and I hid my pain (even from myself) because this was NOT the story I wanted to be living.
I looked confident and happy on the outside - on the inside I was afraid of absolutely everything from flying to doing something new, to saying what I really thought, and had a constant companion in Always Feeling Like Something Was Missing (clue: it was ME!).
Underneath all of that (thank goodness) my brilliant, messy, magnificent, real, warm, wild, deep, intense, magical, natural self was getting ready to rise into being, ready to make herself known and her presence fully-felt.
She emerged in a blaze of glory through some powerful coaching and with 25 witnesses to my actual cartwheeling in a training room in London, when I was training to be a coach and was coached at the front of the room. Later in my coach training I was coached at the front of the room again, and had a powerful emerging of my sense of 'mother earth' and let go of a whole load of shame and dissociation with my body.
By fully-feeling my pain and disappointment of losing my pregnancies and not giving birth to any children, I discovered the wisest part of me was ready to serve by nurturing others, but firstly starting with myself. Perhaps I was meant to be a 'mother to many', because I witness daily through my work, what happens to a human being when they are acknowledged and nurtured after living in world of being ignored and discouraged for so long.
I believe in coaching because I've experienced first hand, the transformation and the shift in awareness that can occur when we are ready. Coaching raises our energy and from that new place, we have access to higher thinking and better feeling places. Gives me goosebumps!
Becoming certified to deliver workshops in the Daring Way and Rising Strong curriculum required that we 'do our own work', so I had another layer of deep inquiry about my relationship with shame, fear and scarcity.
I know that when we let go of of the identity we've created for ourselves, and the old patterns and stories that go with it, and step into the fullness of who we are as humans (I believe spiritual beings, having a human experience), we no longer have to do anything from a striving and efforting place - energy is freed up and we can tap into a much more purposeful and heart-centred way of being, with a more intimate connection with ourselves and the planet, and the others around us who we live and love and work and create with.
Here's what I know works, if we want to live fulfilling and happy lives and that includes fulfilling work and good relationships:
- We have to pay attention to the wisdom in our bodies. We need to slow down, pay attention, and learn how our bodies speak with us. Our emotions give us clues to all the things we want in our lives and we must be the detectives that hunt them down and decipher their messages.
- We must pay attention to what is most important to us and start living as though that matters. That's in the tiny decisions and daily choices we make in our relationships, at our workplaces, with our wardrobes, our time, our money.
- We have to start saying out loud, with actual words that other people can hear, what we want, what we won't tolerate, and what we are prepared to do, if people continue to trample all over our boundaries. This can be done respectfully, kindly and firmly.
- We have to choose our priorities. When we are saying yes to some things, there are always going to be other things that we will be saying 'no' to. We will always be missing out on something.
- The constant stream of negativity and fear in our heads is only our practiced thinking and not actually who we are, nor 'the truth'. That the reason we fully believe we can't go for the job, or love someone with our whole hearts, or start the business, or make that phone call, or travel, or All The Other Things is only because that's what we'd practised thinking and not because it is Actually True.
- We have to recognise if we are living in a pattern of being a victim or telling the story that others have more power and value than we do,and start taking 100% responsibility for how our life feels and the results we are getting.
- We have to realise where we are demanding or controlling of others, so that we can feel ok. This includes stamping our feet when we don't get our own way or when someone doesn't agree with our point of view, offloading our hurts by blaming, criticising, or disconnecting from them because we are not getting our needs met. We can learn to ask for what we need and for help when we need it, but first we need to understand how we get triggered, and why.
- If we want better relationships and greater intimacy and trust, we must stop being at the mercy of our reactions and emotional hijacking in situations where our buttons get well and truly pressed. Instead, we can learn to practice taking a deep breath, becoming aware of what's going on inside us and between us, and choose to respond from kindness, respect, and honesty, instead. Because that's more than likely the kind of person we really are - not the one who defends, justifies and blames. For me, this is still very much a work in progress :)
- We have to take our focus on all the things we think are missing or lacking in our lives and start really, truly appreciating every single thing. Even the shadowy and sucky bits. And especially ourselves. Our lives really are a gift!
- Something is always trying to emerge. It's worth paying attention to what that is.
The most important learning of all has been that there is no point at all in trying to hide how we feel, or pretend something we're something we're not, or please or fit in with other people all of the time, or not trust what feels true for us, or work really hard to try and achieve something we're not really lit up by, or blame or feel resentful of anyone else, because we don't like the way I feel or the results we are getting.
There is just no point trying to be something we're not. We'll be going against the flow, using a lot of energy, and feeling awful in the process. It's the reason we're not letting people see who we really are because we're afraid that they won't like us when they see it, and when we do that they can FEEL that things aren't right anyway and we get even more disconnected.
What is it like, being you? Are you living the life you want to be living? Is work
I have walked the path of discovering who I am and who I want to be, and the gap between them. It's a practice, so I'm still practising, but I feel a million times more whole, and real, and full, than before I chose this way of being.
I invite you to do it, too.