Tag Archives: Feelings

Letting Go

Happy Sunday All & Happy New Year!

Firstly, my hope is that the recent festivities/holiday season has left you feeling rested, renewed and relaxed. It’s a wonderful time, despite the commerciality, when (predominantly in the Western hemisphere) the world is made to look a little more magical and we are allowed once again to let the ‘child’ out to play.

Now that the festivities are over we invariably enter a time of reflection. We review the past year and consider our triumphs our challenges and hopefully learn some lessons from the last 365 days. Our thoughts turn to change, we make resolutions to do, be more/better.

I prefer to see it NOT as resolution making, but rather as ‘letting go.’

Divine Whispers

whisper-408482_1280The universe has been talking to me to me over the last few weeks. It started out as light murmur which became a whisper, which became a prod which then became a shout, A slap in the face, a hollering I could no longer ignore.

The messages came in the form of comments heard in passing whispered in fleeting segments of conversation. They came as extracts in books & phrases which leapt off web pages, all of which were in some form or other telling me I had unfinished business and there was still some ‘letting go’ I needed to do. I’m still going through this processing but thought it would be useful to share what insights I  have gained in so doing.

Letting go is so hard to do…let-go-594531_1280

The song by Neil Sedaka (really showing my age now), says breaking up is hard to do, but it occurred to me that it’s letting go’ that we find such a challenge.

We’ve all been hurt… Everyone of us has at some point had to deal with some emotional pain. But it’s the letting go of the hurt that’ will allow you to make space in your heart and your life for new joy and happiness. If your heart is stuffed full of past hurts and pain how can you open up to new experiences, new bliss-ings?

sylvester-586225_1280New Year’s Resolutions

They don’t work!

Well, they don’t do they?

I realise now that one of the main reasons why they don’t work is that they tend to involve ‘loss.’ We see ourselves as ‘losing.’ something or that the change is something we’re making more often than not because we’re complying to someone or something else’s ideal.

It’s something we feel we should do.

If, in our unconscious mind, we haven’t really signed on to what we feel we ‘should’ be doing, then there is a disconnect.  The ‘should’ implies a lack of emotional attachment to the decision and the action. We are operating from a place of pressure and being commanded. This lack of emotional attachment to the outcome means we are less likely to get the outcome we say we want.

We’ve all been hurt int he past. Many of us, as a result have developed compensatory behaviours to soothe ourselves and lessen the hurt we felt. But equally many of us are ‘holding on,’ nursing and feeding the hurt looking backwards and blaming the current habits that are our ‘resolutions’ on those past events.

The idea that we’re ‘losing’ something also brings up that old ‘bogieman’ FEAR.

We begin to fear that if we ‘lose’ our current emotional crutch, habit, obsession that we won’t have anything to replace it with. We may end up alone, or bored or more ‘stuff’ may come up to look at; all kinds of irrational ideas begin to plague our thoughts before we’ve even let go.

 Open your hand

I often use an analogy to explain to my friends & pupils about fear and holding on to the past:

If you had a hand full of gold coins of course you’d want to hold onto them.

You may decide you’ll spend sparingly, especially if you’ve never seen such riches before.

However one day, someone comes along and wants to give you a beautiful, precious gemstone (Diamond, Sapphire, Ruby) whatever you wish.

diamond-316610_1280

It’s worth more than all the coins you can fit into your hand altogether.

You’ve always wanted a gem like this.

It’s beauty you’ve admired for years and yearned for one just like it.

The wealth it could provide would enhance not just your life but the lives of others too.

but you’re afraid that if you open your hand you’ll lose the gold coins,

letting go holds fear.

letting go means taking a risk.

letting go means maybe ending up with nothing…

What if the coins fall and sink into the mud

lost forever?

coins-163517_1280

So you clasp your fingers even more tightly around the coins, desperate.

After all, you know their worth, the familiar feels of them in your palm and you’ve had them for a while

you know how much you’ve spent and how much is left and there are no surprises.

And so, you pass on opening your hand.

It’s simple…

But what if you unclasp those fingers, lay your palm flat?

What if you allow someone to give you an even more beautiful, even more precious gift?, Instead you hold on tightly, stick with what you know and miss the chance of receiving what you’ve always wanted, what will enrich your life, everything you’ve ever dreamed of having, doing and being…

Flip the script!

manuscript-203465_1280Instead of seeing change as a loss, see it as letting go of something that no longer serves who you choose to be or what you choose to have, do or want.

Change your thought around the issue and change your language. A ‘resolution’ just SOUNDS like hard work doesn’t it? Res-O-Lu-Tion! harsh and gutteral.

LETTING GO however, sounds soft and  easy and effortless,

Resolution has the emotional energy of the ‘must,’ the ‘should,’ whereas letting go is a ‘conscious’ and ‘positive’ decision You’ve made, you have the control and are more likely to follow through and get the results you say you want.

For example: If you’re wanting to lose a few Kilos, you could say to yourself

“I’m letting go of the need to feel comfort through foods that I know do not enhance my health and that hinder me acquiring a body I love, deserve and feel proud of” 

You have the control, you have the power

This sounds so much better than:

I’m so overweight/fat!  OR I must lose at least 14 kilos OR ‘Who’ll want me when I look like this OR I’ve got to get this weight off! 

As you can hear, the second options have so much more emotional charge to them and so we are less likely to let them go. The first statement comes from a place of empowerment and safety and of trusting that you deserve and can have what you want for yourself.

Exercise

Is there something you really want to shift or change in your life?

Over the next week take an issue that you know you want to change. It could be a ‘resolution.’ type issue or a more long-standing, deeper issue that you know you need to shake, but you’ve struggled with.

Perhaps you don’t stick up for or assert yourself, perhaps you tend to be a people pleaser and afraid to put your needs before others, perhaps you do need to lose a few pounds or exercise regularly.

  1. Think about the issue – what feelings, phrases and thoughts come up around this? Don’t edit or judge what comes up, just let it be what it is
  2. Take a sheet of paper and write down how it shows up, notice the words, the language you use around the issue, how these thoughts make you feel.
  3. Take those words & phrases, thoughts and ideas and ‘flip the scrip.’ Turn them into positive ones about letting go. Statements that are about YOU making choices that enhance you, that you deserve to experience, that you want to experience.
  4. Feel the positive feelings that arise when you read these newly formed and empowered thoughts back to yourself. (Bin the negative ones by the way!)
  5. Sit with your newfound statement(s) and say them to yourself every day…Breathe into and feel the positive feelings that come with them; allow them to intensify.

Next week I will give tips on ways of ‘letting go.’

For now I will say ‘adios.’

I would love to hear how the exercise worked for you. What changes do you feel and what actions do you take as a result?

Please feel free to comment and of course please subscribe if you haven’t already done so.

Share, Share, Share with your circles, especially someone who wants to make changes and may really benefit from reading this page today.

Blissings & Much love

Insightful Angel

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Self-love

Happy Sunday all,

I don’t know about you, but being able to really feel in love with who I am, to truly cultivate self-love has at times been one of my biggest challenges in life.

2014-07-19 15.00.45From our conversations about ourselves and our actions towards ourselves and others, and when I stop and listen to the language we use about ourselves and others its obvious too that many, many of us find that to love ourselves, to honour the unique gifts we have, to be able to look into the mirror and say out loud, yes, out loud, ‘I love you,’ the most challenging action to do.

As we navigate our way through our experience of life we sometimes and in some cases, often ignore the lessons we receive that are tapping us on the shoulder and reminding us that we are responsible for caring for ourselves first, before all else and that what we just did/said/thought was not an act of self-love.

‘to thine own self be true.’

In order to have successful relationships with others we need to first of all have a successful relationship with ourselves. To really know and understand who you are and what matters to you. However this process takes time. We uncover the pieces of the puzzle one by one and together they then form the complete puzzle and the picture starts to make sense.

Who am I?2014-07-17 18.10.17

Seemingly, this is a simple question, but it is one of the hardest to answer. The answer needs to be one which is true for who you are right here and now. Keep quizzing yourself with this question, take a week, take two. It’s not something you will answer overnight, but if you’re determined to improve your perception of yourself and really step into the space of self-love you need to be honest.

What are the positive wonderful qualities you bring to the world and to your relationships? make a list of at least ten but ideally twenty plus. You’d be surprised how many of my students are unable to create a list of even ten qualities they really like about themselves when I ask them to do this.

You cannot begin to imagine how deeply saddened I am every time I do this. But I do it because it plants a seed and creates a realisation within them… that ‘self-love’ is the path to learning how to love others.

How can I expect to find and accept the love of another if even I can’t allow myself the space within to love ME? 

I have always held an intuitive belief. It’s one which my life experience has since taught me is true for all of us and that is that we all crave connection and ‘to be loved completely for who we are.’ That process starts with ourselves, so we need to look to at the qualities we feel we’d like to improve. However this list is restricted to two or three (for now). You see you need to be in a space where you can accept and love ALL OF YOU not just the bits you think others find pleasing or acceptable?

Can you look at those parts of you that are a ‘work in progress’ and love them too?

But, don’t be too hard on yourself, remember these qualities are often the ones that make us relatable and remind ourselves and others that we are human, we are mortal, we are fallible and that we are on a journey in the same way that they are. Most people find perfectionism really hard to connect with or relate to!

Recipe for Self-Love – (Five steps to steps to acceptance).

  1. flower-22656_150Be humble – Learn that you are not the ‘world’s expert on everything.’ Being humble not only makes it easier for others to relate to you, but you may actually learn something from listening. Setting yourself up as the ‘all-knowing’ oracle sets up a fear of failure and worry that you are responsible for everyone else’s woes. We are on our own path, but sharing the journey nevertheless. Being a ‘know-it-all.’ will not only make you tired, but distances you from relating to others ideas and points of view. Being humble shows you acknowledge that others’ stories, their journey, lessons  and experience are of value and in so doing you acknowledge and respect the importance of your own.
  2. blue-lotus-215460_150 Be honest – Being honest tells the world and yourself you are reliable. Your word is your bond. Being honest isn’t about denigrating or pulling down another in a brutal fashion. It’s about speaking and relating in an open but empathetic way, in a way that shows you are respecting the needs and intelligence of others. Honesty is an everyday practise its ordinary. It’s the act of not taking pens from the work stationery store cupboard ‘because they have loads of them and won’t miss one,’ It’s leaving the right change, it’s knowing even if others are not acting in integrity you are. This allows you to feel good inside and therefore makes it easier to find your way to self-love.margarite-74886_640
  3. Change the record  – Quieten the negative voice in your head by noticing when you tell yourself the self depreciating ‘stuff’ that keeps you locked in a prison of self-doubt. Let me ask you this, if a dear friend came to see you and asked you what you thought of them, what language would you use. Would you say ‘You’re too fat!’ ‘You talk too much!’ ‘You’re stupid?’ So why do you say it to yourself, Should you not be your own ‘best friend?’ notice what you say to yourself, catch yourself and then change the language into language you might use if you were talking to that friend. ‘I’m too fat –   ‘If you create a regular routine and do some light exercise, I’m sure I’ll see improvements in my fitness level.’ OR ‘I’m so stupid – If I re-read my notes then I’m more likely to understand the information presented.’
  4. heart-63974_150Treat yourself – How do you expect to graciously accept the compliments and gifts of your friends and loved ones if you don’t allow you to give to you? Allow yourself to enjoy life. Give yourself permission to simply experience joy and pleasure. Life isn’t about misery and suffering. We are here for a brief moment in time, so make the most of it. Treat yourself to that bubble bath, that concert or a day off on the sofa reading all day and no housework. Go out and let your hair down, eat the food you really like and make it a regular occurrence. How you treat yourself is how you will feel about yourself and ultimately how you allow others to treat you.beach-51956_150
  5. Give yourself a break! – Use the times when you were less than your best self as learning opportunities… Lessons. Experiences that you use to refine your choices and be the better person you are striving to be. There’s no use chastising yourself and making yourself feel worse. If you ‘drop the ball,’ occasionally. Decide if there’s a way to make amends, do so and then try to ‘do’ and ‘be’ better the next time.

Remember those that know better DO better!

Anais Nin once said:  “life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. That is a kind of death.”

Allow yourself to change and grow accept that you will change.

We are here on a journey and so loving yourself is a continuous process not an end point or destination.

Bliss-ings and much love,

Insightful Angel

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When things fall apart

Happy Sunday,

Yesterday I broke.

self-doubt-424968_1280I literally fell apart. I was in bits…I crashed to the floor into a million shiny pieces and had no idea how to glue myself back together.

“Things fall apart” is a book by Chinua Achebe and concerns the issues face by a controlling, dominant man who has a strict idea of what it means to be a man. The reality is he has no control over anything save his own words and actions. The lesson I took from that is that in life one has to yield…When we are rigid and insist we know it all life more than often throws you a curve ball just as a reminder.  The only thing you can do in that instance is decide:

‘WHO’ do I choose to be in response to this event/situation, who am I going to be right now?’

I am undone…

mourning-360500_150I had been given some devastating news, news which sent me into a tailspin, news which changed what I knew as truth and turned it upside down. It kicked me HARD in the gut. I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t DO anything. I knew this could be the undoing of me and I had no idea how to hold myself together.

I was numb…

I felt if I moved or thought, or anything I would never be able to recover myself and after all the things I’ve had to pick myself up from this was the one that would be the undoing of me.

I did nothing…Literally nothing.

Then the stillness came

bank-340779_150So I was just still…No blinking, I don’t recall any breathing (though there must have been some as I’m still here) I clenched and held on tight. There were no tears, no noise, no emotion, no thought whatsoever and I was terrified. I have never been in a space of absolutely no reaction whatsoever before, but I knew there was nothing else.

My mind and body took over.

For nearly three hours I was like this…fortunately I had received the devastating news at precisely 3.25am (funny how you recall minute detail in a crisis) It’s as if everything becomes heightened and you’re sharper in a weird, floaty, other-worldy kind of way.

At 6.15am my mind kicked in and reminded me from somewhere in my subconscious that I have day two of a fantastic Coaching Training course to attend and I needed to DO SOMETHING!

Autopilot

portrait-317041_640I don’t really recall getting ready, I must have drifted in and out of…not consciousness, but more an awareness of reality as my next memory was walking into the city centre to the hotel where the event was being held. As I walked I heard a voice inside, a voice which obviously had some fight in her… a determined self-preservation saying…

‘Come on! don’t break, Step towards your life…you have a life to live!’

It was like a mantra and propelled me towards the hotel. I was still holding on all the way, the tension was there. Before I knew it I was at the entrance and jolted back into reality. When I saw my new-found friends from the programme a part of me felt as if it had come back to itself. I did the usual exchanging of pleasantries and began to feel a little better.

But I was still holding…

The pressure was building, but if there’s one thing I am good at it’s pushing those feelings down and not letting them control me…I’ve had a lot of practise when it comes to picking myself up and getting on with it! It’s a challenging path…It’s a lonely one, there have been times when I really didn’t think I could make it one more day, times when I  have been spent and had no idea how or where to find the courage and strength to do what I had to…

I have been deep, but usually there’s no-one there and so I learnt to ‘get on with it,’ and break down in private. Little did I know the universe would take me even deeper and expose me. My worst night mare come true.

There was a huge knot in my gut…and a constriction of my throat. I knew It would be impossible for me to eat.

Vesuvius! – Explode…Expose…Exhalevolcanic-eruption-67668_1280

The room was warm.

It got warmer and warmer, the facilitator was explaining the first task. My mind was grateful. Good I get to practise my coaching and get some feedback. And then it happened. The dam broke!

Overwhelm followed. The feelings I had repressed all morning, the control I’d wrestled to keep a hold of weakened…I weakened and the flood commenced.

I held my nose, I gritted my teeth, I clenched my fists and nothing was able to get me back to my equilibrium. I had not choice but to just let it out. I had to leave the room. I felt embarrassed and ashamed. I’d let myself down. I’m supposed to be able to deal with anything. I’m the ‘strong one! for god’s sake!’

The wonderful Claire, who was sitting opposite me and who was my partner in the exercise followed me outside and did…

NOTHING!

It was just what I needed her to do…

Surrendersad-girl-236769_150

In that moment I gave in…

I surrendered.

I surrendered to the agony and the pain and the loss and when all I could do was sob and mourn and wail and sob some more and shake and cry, I learnt several lessons in that moment:

  1. My/our feelings are nothing I need to feel ashamed of.
  2. They’re mine/ours and they’re OK
  3. They are there to guide us and they are there to support our spiritual and emotional health. It’s OK to feel… It’s OK to let the flow happen.
  4. When I dive into my feelings…really let myself be immersed in them I come through the other side lighter and wiser and freer. There’s less tension and a greater acceptance.
  5. When things fall apart…wail, cry, scream and then just breathe
  6. I’m not perfect and I don’t have to be…the only person that expects that of me…IS ME!

(What the hell would perfection look like anyway?…We’re always learning always expanding). When has there been a day when we did not learn something new about ourselves or the world in general or about another?

Most importantly, I learnt that we are LOVE. 

In what way can you be love today? Be it…Show it…You may just save someone’s life.

Love is…

beach-193786_150Our instinct is to reach out, to support and to love. I’ve always believed that, yet it can seem today, with all the horrible things occurring in our modern world and how often the needs of others are ignored, that that’s not the case. I have often doubted it myself, chastising myself for being believing this and being so naïve and telling myself to ‘Get real,’ or ‘Grow up.’  

The only time we reject and hurt and decry and break down and slander and try to own others or keep them with us, is when we are afraid within ourselves, it’s out of a desire to maintain OUR comfort. Afraid of how we’ll be seen in comparison or afraid of the unknown because we’ve never navigate this emotional or physical territory before or else afraid we’re getting close to revealing our insecurity or our hidden thoughts about ourselves and we’ll be rejected.

Many of us are prepared to fight to the death to keep up a situation that is miserable because it’s familiar. Even if others who we profess to love, get hurt in the process. If love is showing up in this way, that’s not love.

That’s fear, possession, greed, selfishness, it’s insecurity it’s NEEDINESS

That’s most definitely NOT love.

Love is and will always be a ‘Giving’ emotion. It can take no other form. If it feels any different, then some other desire or need is driving its expression

My newfound friends created a loving space for me to just be.

They did not judge me, they did not question me or quiz me. They simply let me express whatever It was I needed to in that moment. They exhibited pure acceptance and love and in so doing allowed me to love and accept myself that bit more.

The timing was uncanny: And so I had another confirmation of a long-held belief of mine:

Divinity…

  • The universe is divine wisdom.
  • We are a part of that wisdom
  • It works through and for ALL of us

thank-you-140227_640Without the support I received yesterday I truly think I could honestly have been a ‘bit of a basket case!’

The universe knew that when I received my news I would need support and as I live alone it’s rather uncanny isn’t it, that I was on a training programme with exactly the kinds of people I would need to get me through the emotions I experienced.

Synchronicity…Kismet… Co-incidence. Call it what you will. We have all had such incidents in our lives. They’re evidence of the support the universe puts in place when we need it and YES that includes you!

Perhaps it’s a fleeting introduction to or meeting with someone who is doing, being, having a career or lifestyle you have dreams of, perhaps it’s someone who through your interaction creates a feeling of the support, accomplishment, love and happiness you are aching for?

‘When the student is ready the master appears!’

2014-06-22 11.18.54We are given samples, given brief glimpses of what our soul knows is right for us, so that we allow go after it and muster enough courage and self-love to step into what we know in our hearts we truly deserve.

Every moment of our lives we should feel grateful, blessed and In love.

With ourselves, our lives and (if you have a significant other) with our partners and children. If you don’t.

Make the change…

Be vulnerable and brave

Follow your feelings…

Therein lies the source of your happiness.

Blessings and much love

Insightful Angel 

 

 

 

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The Gift

Happy Sunday all,

The Beatles sang it and many poets have written it, but how true is it that ‘All we need is love.’ but what does that mean and is it true? ‘How do we access the gift of life?’

This late posting indicates the challenge I’ve had with this week’s topic. A challenge because I have so much I could say it’s been difficult to know where to start and what to include, but I hope it makes sense and resonates with you on some level.

Love & hate?

love-209900_150We hold the belief that hate is the opposite of love. Yet my life and experience has taught me that it is fear which is love’s opposite. As I grow to maturity, I notice increasingly that where there is misery or anger or disdain or whatever negative behaviour being displayed, that it’s FEAR that is at the root of it all. Osho provides a great analogy.

He says fear is darkness. It is the absence of love. You cannot touch darkness, nor smell it or throw it or do anything with it. Darkness is the absence of  light. To revel the darkness you switch off the light, but you’re still doing something with the light. In the same way fear is present when you switch off the love, but the ‘switching off.’ is with the love.

‘If you love well fear disappears…If you love deeply fear is not found.’      – Osho.

Most of us understand that what it feels to be in the absence of fear. If you’ve every loved another, been in love with another or experienced the love for your child you will have experienced moments of profound joy love, and expansiveness. loving in this open-hearted way was the gift itself and yet it may only have been a moment, but in that moment did your feel fear?

When you love deeply, fear disappears you become fearless. Fearless people have no need to create fear within another nor do they allow another to create fear within them.

Are you operating from love?

How ready are you to become fearless and love unconditionally? Most of us harbour that secret desire to be loved unconditionally for who we are, however, are YOU truly loving in the same way. Take a look at the most significant relationship in your life right now, it may be with a partner, wife, husband, son or daughter or parent.

love-278579_150Are you being completely open…are you fearless in your interactions and vulnerable? are you able to give unconditionally? The minute we start to think the other ‘should do this,’ ‘should be like that.’ only than will/can I love you.’ then we’re beginning to stifle the very thing which allowed us to feel free and real in the first place.

Love cannot be corralled and leashed and controlled like a wild pony. When we do this we’re creating a transaction, a bargain.heart-142736_150

  • Do you love your partner when they’re providing but lose respect for them if they lose their job?
  • Do you hear their concerns or fears when they attempt to open up to you or do you dismiss them?

Be honest…is there some form of bargain or condition in operation or are you genuinely giving. Unconditionally, with an open heart?heart-195305_150

  • Have you become complacent and take their being there for granted?
  • Have you stopped bringing gifts and tokens to show your appreciation,
  • Do you thank them for the things they do to make your life happier/more comfortable.

When was the last time you looked at them with an open heart and told them exactly what you love about them and meant it no strings, no expectation of a return or because you need something from them?

Your relationship, your responsibility…100%

always-226324_1280If you recall the moments when you fell in love, there was no bargaining, no conditions, you were fearless. The gift was in the giving.

Once the love settles we begin to fear.

Forget about the other person what are YOU doing with regard to love?

This applies or your relationship with yourself too…don’t forget that.

Fear – a Long, Slow Death

Caroline Myss says we know when we have ‘Betrayed Ourselves.’ and done something that was not for the benefit of our soul. You get that twinge, that moment of ‘Ewww!’ Perhaps I shouldn’t have said/done that.

It resonates in the feeling part of you.

Are you compromising in some way?

Are you betraying yourself? Existing…persisting with a situation/state of existence that you know in some part of you is slow death?

Why?

Why is ego…Why is security…Why is fear!

Your ego closes your palm and says ‘keep this money. We know exactly how many gold coins we have here.’ But what if someone came along who wanted to give you a diamond? How can your receive this added abundance if your palm is closed?

To open your palm is to risk losing the gold.gold-295936_1280

Death has no risk! Your problem is solved…keep our palm closed.

There’s no sickness or rejection or unknowns in death.

Life is risky…I should know I’ve taken enough risks to have many of them, in the eyes of others ‘fail.’ But I’ve had immense joys from those risks too that I would never had experienced from choosing the ‘safe’ ego based option.

It happens to us all

For many of us, our child hood signified insecurity. Financial, emotionally, intellectual and/or physical…If you is insecure about your needs being met there will be fear.

sad-girl-236769_150Financial – You’ll fear poverty and lack & so ‘Hold on.’

Emotional – You’ll fear rejection and hurt & so resist vulnerability

Intellectual – You’ll fear ridicule and lack confidence

Physical – You’ll lack trust and will create barriers to connection often through your own anger or belittling or criticism

As a myriad of people on the planet exist, so too the different ways that we manifest our fears.

People Pleaser or Trust Vampire?

Our fears create scenarios for either ‘people pleasing’ or an inability to trust. We fear vulnerability, for to truly love is to lay oneself bare, to strip back the mask and show ALL that you are.

But…’what if they don’t like what they see?’

Fundamentally the underlying feeling is ‘fear.’

house-wall-113542_1280For the people pleasers, it’s the fear of ‘being wrong’ yet in fearing being wrong, you lack trust in yourself as you never developed this trust  your own actions. That indecision means you are prone to hastily decide on a course(s) of action to have it ‘go wrong’ and then you’re even more fearful, even more unsure of yourself the next time.

For the trust vampire…well, it speaks for itself. You never allow yourself to be vulnerable in any way, shape or form and so keep everyone and everything at distance.

You feel secure, you have surety and familiarity, you are protected.

Palm closed…

Secure… like the butterfly within the Chrysalis or the plant within the seed…

The Gift

butterfly-108616_150For the butterfly to come to fly free or the seed to become a plant… there’s breaking through.

There’s risk…

There’s struggle and pressure.

To fully blossom the plant has to risk the burning heat of the sun, the cold of the winds and the battering of the rain. But in breaking through the seed/Chrysalis’ outer casing, by opening up and releasing the palm, there lies the beauty…

Only then can you receive the gift…

Blessings & Much love

Insightful Angel

 

 

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Feelings & Vulnerability – What are we so afraid of?

Happy Sunday everyone!

Regret number three is a biggie! It’s about feelings. Our ability (or rather inability) to ‘put ourselves OUT THERE’ and be vulnerable.

zen-178992_150Feelings

Yep feelings…that topic that makes you want to squirm and run for the nearest cave, bury your head in your hands, rock backwards and forwards and suck you thumb, whilst crying for your ‘mummy.’ Feelings are connected to our sense of self, the need to control how others see us and to protect us from that major ‘bogieman’ (apologies to the men out there, but you get why I use the term) REJECTION! This Sunday I will take a close look at regret number three:

  1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not one others EXPECTED of me.
  2. I wish I hadn’t worked SO hard
  3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings
  4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends
  5. I wish I’d been happier

Let’s unpack this one for a minute. Expressing your feelings basically means revealing who we are on a deeper level. It means letting go of control, It means subjecting ourselves to uncertainty and taking a risk. It means connecting…openly and completely. It means accessing our vulnerability.

Vulnerable!

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When you take a risk more often than not, you are opting to step into a space that you haven’t experienced before, or you may have met with the situation before, but you know that in this space you are unable to control the outcome. Why the fear? Where does it come from? Why do we have a pathological resistance to opening up to others? What is it about being vulnerable that scares us so? In my examination of why we are reluctant to give free rein to our feelings I will refer to the work of the wonderful Brené Brown who provides us with an insightful analysis of vulnerability in her work;

‘Daring Greatly: How finding the courage and being vulnerable transforms the way we live, love, parent and lead’

Re-focusing the lens

woman-64146_150Being a teacher I see, on a daily basis, the trends and cultural shifts played out by our young people. In the past, perhaps like you, I was  guilty of accusing them of selfishness and self-obsession of being self-absorbed and lacking empathy or a sense community. On the surface, they seem obsessed with power, material wealth, beauty and being thought of as ‘special.’ I had to refocus my lens and adjust my position as my time in the classroom made it increasingly clear to me that their behaviour, rather than simply being a display of narcissism, is more symptomatic of their fear of being ordinary. It is a fear rooted in, as Brené says:

“the shame based fear of being ordinary…of never feeling extraordinary enough to be noticed or loved or belong or cultivate a sense of purpose.'(hence constant posting of ‘selfies’).

It’s increasingly challenging for people to believe they are ‘enough.’ Being ordinary is meaningless. You’re nothing unless there is a lens staring down at you. And with reality TV, celebrity culture and social media we’ve created a warped lens through which they look out at the world.

The idea that they’re only as popular as the number of Facebook ‘friends’ they have or the number of  ‘likes’ they get for the latest ‘selfie’ is a pervasive and insidious concept. When we re-focus the lens and look at their behaviour in a different way we realise that these symptoms are a result of a society conditioned to believe in the concept of ‘lack.’ There is, in our culture the overriding feeling of ‘not enough.’

Not enough

Today we’re bombarded with the message that nothing we do, say or be is every enough. old-peoples-home-63615_150We are never thin enough (Photoshop, the diet industry etc.) Perfect enough (plastic surgery, Botox etc.) Powerful enough, Special enough, Smart enough, Safe enough (crises in food, environment, unrest). You get the gist. The result of all this ‘not enoughness,’ is we’re just afraid to do anything. It’s become safer to operate in the virtual world where there is no judgment or criticism or failure. In her book ‘The Soul of Money’ Lynne Twist says: That scarcity is a ‘great lie.’ we’ve been sold

Our first waking thought of the day is “I didn’t get enough sleep.” The next one is “I don’t have enough time.” Whether true or not, that thought of ‘not enough’ occurs to us automatically before we even think to question or examine it. We spend most of the hours and the days of our lives hearing, explaining, complaining or worrying about what we don’t have enough of…before we even sit up in bed, before our feet touch the floor, we’re already inadequate, already behind, already losing, already lacking something. And by the time we go to bed at night, our minds are racing with a litany of what we didn’t get, or didn’t get done that day…This mind-set of scarcity, lives at the very heart of our jealousies, our greed, our prejudice and our arguments with life…'”

The Scarcity myth

poverty-81827_150When we believe in scarcity we are in a constant state of comparison and assessment. Considering how much we have and don’t have, how much we want, how much everyone else has by comparison, but this constant comparison means we are creating a feeling of under achievement and scrutinising our lives by ‘media perfect’ standards. According to Brown the scarcity paradigm thrives in ‘shame-prone’ cultures, but that we’re also ‘sick of feeling afraid,’ that ‘we all want to be brave’

Vulnerability = Bravery = Strength

How can we meet our desire to be brave if we have a pathological fear of being vulnerable? Being brave or courageous means being seen, it means stepping up and laying ourselves bare and rejecting the idea that being vulnerable means we are displaying weakness. demon-201439_150

In our society we see being vulnerable as shameful, as being associated with shameful memories or being disappointed. But people, I am here to tell you that Brené has confirmed through her social research what my life experiences had already shown me and what I want to share with you here.

If we want to get access to a deeper meaning in our lives, find our purpose, if we want to delve deeper into life and truly plunge the depths of our own possibility, vulnerability is key.

  • Vulnerability is opening up.
  • Vulnerability is taking risks.
  • Vulnerability is exposing yourself to joy and love and empathy.
  • Vulnerability is allowing yourself to be accountable.
  • Vulnerability is being your authentic self!

We mostly feel vulnerable when we are engaging in activities or decisions that place us on the edge. We are reclaiming that ‘feeling’ part of our lives, the part that generates emotions such as ‘exhilaration.’ Yet, we need not fear our feelings… Yes being vulnerable is scary, we could be hurt, have our heart ripped out and trampled on, but what’s the alternative? Protect yourself? Play it safe?

Playing it safe

Playing it safe means living a life in fear. FearIt means a life in which you close yourself off from interaction and scrutiny, but vulnerability is being courageous. Yes! It is the more challenging path; Yes! We’re taking a risk; Yes! We are laying ourselves bare; We’re naked in a room full of people with their clothes on! Yet when we see vulnerability in others we applaud it.

We admire the person who will stand up and do a speech, we call it courageous. So how is it vulnerability is weakness in ourselves, yet courage in others? We applaud it when others have the strength to open up to us and ‘put themselves out there,’ yet we seem to have a pathological fear of doing the same ourselves.

Allowing your vulnerability to show means you’re opening yourself up to:

Possibility…Infinite Potentiality…Limitlessness.

Life’s great dare

flag-107402_150As Brené reminds us; ‘Vulnerability is life’s great dare’ the more we open ourselves up to daring the greater our potential for ‘being seen.’ and living (as I call it) a ‘life less than ordinary.’ Daring to be vulnerable creates the FREEDOM you seek and the CONTENTMENT you crave and the LOVE you deserve.

I’m going to leave you with a quotation:

“Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.” 
― Brené Brown

Blessings & much love

Insightful Angel 

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