emotions

I Got My Feelings Hurt

Sometimes my storyteller is six years old.
Sometimes my storyteller is six years old.

It happens to all of us. It happened to me.

I had planned a home party for a line of adult products, and invited pretty much every DFW woman I thought might be interested– 300+ to be exact.

I created this picture in my mind of what the party would be. Full house, lots of laughter, lots of girl-time connection, juicy conversations about sexuality and pleasure, and of course, toys! RSVPs showed 16 yeses. And 40 maybes! Nice!

For what I realize are reasons that have nothing to do with me, a very small handful of women came. Not counting me and the consultant, I had five others show up. Five others who I gratefully enjoyed seeing, and felt a love and appreciation for, no doubt. But simultaneously, I found myself missing the other eleven who had counted themselves a yes, and for whatever reason, did not show up. And all those maybes… I thought at least a couple of them would actualize into yes.

The big girl part of me listed possible reasons, and again, those reasons had nothing to do with me. I live a ways out of Dallas now, it’s a Thursday, I had rescheduled once, not everyone like sex toy parties, yada yada.

Yet, the little girl part of me was hurt, sad and in her hurt feelings kept whispering: Nobody actually likes me.

There were parts of me that were hell-bent on making it mean something about me, that something was wrong with me.

The mean critical aspect of me was saying: What a fucking disaster. Aren’t you embarrassed? You thought you had friends. And you made way too much sangria.

The dark shadowy part of me that lurks, eagerly waiting for moments like this to pounce, whispered sardonically: LOSER.

On a realistic plane, I KNEW these thoughts were not true. I know I am loved, that I have friends, that it was not a personal thing. I know the facts.

But I’m not necessarily talking about facts today. I’m talking about feelings.

Sometimes what we KNOW and what we FEEL are two different things. Sometimes we attach made-up stories to the feelings we feel. Sometimes we even tell ourselves lies to support our hurt feelings. (Gasp! Who would do that? Raises hand.) And most of the time, those stories can be traced back many years, and are rooted in very old wounds, experienced by a very young self.

I pushed away my hurt feelings, “knowing” they were unreasonable. I cleaned up. I went to bed. Yet the next morning I woke up feeling residual hurt. I journaled, working to talk myself out of these unreasonable feelings.

And then, Facebook chatting with one of my best friends, Angela, she asked “How was the party?”

I began typing my reply and BAM, just like that, the tears came. They came fast and hard, falling steadily from my eyes from some ancient place, and my first reaction was to stop them and shove them back up in there, because this is silly. Because I think these feelings are “unreasonable.”

I told her that I felt silly, but that my wounded-child was hurt.

Before I continue, let me tell you something about Angela. Angela and I have been friends for about a dozen years. She is one of the bravest women I know. Since a tsunami of traumatic life events in December of last year, she has been in rebuild-phase and been working her ass off to heal, to get better, to re-wire, to re-construct, to stay present, to feel it all. She’s been to hell and back, and aside from that, she knows me better than most.

This chick knows a thing or two about triggers and core wounds and she replied… “Of course. This is one of your core wounds, correct?”

“Yes.” I went on to explain that I know that I have this tendency to catastrophize, and I am famous for my ‘goldfish-memory’ (I only remember the last six minutes of my life. So, if they’ve been great six minutes, wonderful! If not, well… ugh. My entire life is shit and everything sucks.)

“I feel silly.” I said.

And she said…

“Try to replace feeling silly with being compassionate with yourself. These are deep, real wounds you are dealing with, and when they are triggered, our reactions aren’t necessarily rational.”

Her words felt like salve, soothing and cool on my owie.

I already KNOW this- I preach compassion and curiosity for a living, for cripe’s sake!

But there I was, completely forgetting to direct curiosity and compassion toward myself. Instead I lashed out judgment, even mockery toward myself for my feelings.

Thankful for this reminder, I exhaled.

I turned within and softened my gaze. I saw her, little me in there, sad and rejected, and I went to her. I let her crawl onto my lap. I let her feel.

Resisting our feelings does not work.

Judging ourselves for our feelings does not work.

Feeling bad about feeling bad is a double layered shit sandwich that just does not serve us.

Thank you, Angela, for reminding me to return to compassion. Reminding me to allow myself to feel. Caught up in my own loop of feelings and judgment about the feelings, I couldn’t remember to do this. I needed a friend to remind me.

Once felt, the feelings dissolved like vapor.

They just wanted to be felt.

Is there a feeling you’ve been judging yourself for? Is there an emotion you think is silly or unreasonable and you try to chase it away?

Turn to it. It’s a precious part of you. Let it feel. Create a safe space for it, and watch what happens next…

Healing happens.

 

 

Can you be with this feeling?

by Jordan_K, ©photographer reserves all rights
by Jordan_K, ©photographer reserves all rights

Can you be with this feeling?

This is the question I hear, in my mind, in this moment, when I am in a lousy, cranky, hormonal, bitch-on-wheels mood. The sun is shining, it’s a perfect afternoon, there is much to be grateful for, I know. But sometimes crankiness happens. I don’t like it. I want relief. I want to escape this feeling.

Can you be with this feeling?

The inner voice asks again. I prefer being happy, of course. But what if I surrendered to this crankiness. I did have a terrible night’s sleep. My back aches, my head hurts, my moon storm is in full force, and I decide, in this moment, yes. Yes, I will be with this feeling.

It will not destroy me. It will not last. I will not get swallowed.

Yes, I am always at choice. And in this moment, I choose to be with this feeling.

I have spent years of my life trying to escape unpleasant feelings. Fight, flight or freeze. That is our human condition, after all. And in this moment, I embrace my humanity and allow this feeling to be what it is. A feeling inside of me. I am not the boat, battered on the waves of an angry, restless ocean. Can I be the angry, restless ocean, in this moment? Yes. I can.

I, like most people, find it easiest to be present when things feel good, when I feel good. I have no trouble being present for joy, bliss, peace. Easy-peasy! The real practice of presence becomes a true practice when I can become fully present to those “other” feelings, the ones that live on the opposite side of my wide and vast emotional landscape. I will not die. I will not be swallowed.

I am the ocean, not the boat.

I become present to the sensations in my body. Some unpleasant. I notice and observe what is happening now. The sun is warming my body, as I sit on my breezy balcony, typing away, noticing the warmth of the sun on my skin. Noticing the aching in my head. In my body. Noticing. Being present to what is. There is nothing else, after all, except what is.

When your darker moments come, can you stay with your feelings?

Can you not abandon yourself in attempts to feel something different?

Can you be a safe place for every feeling?

Even the unsavory ones?

I am learning how.

My busy mind wants to label, identify, sort, find cause, pinpoint reasons, organize, define, correct.

My spirit says “relax into the now.”

I consider what I can trust:

I trust in the temporal nature of all feelings. I trust that this will pass. I trust that I am safe. I trust that I can be gentle and kind and avoid the desire to flee this feeling.

I trust in the larger, more broad perspective. I trust that this is not “who” or “what” I am. This is simply a feeling. Who I am is larger, much larger, than any feeling.

Oddly enough, miraculously enough, when I surrender to what is, when I allow myself to be present to this very moment, something starts to shift, subtle and small, something starts to lift, and I am reminded that even the darkest storms eventually dissolve and pass.

It is the dark that defines the light. How can I know pleasure, if I never knew pain? How can I know peace, if I never knew unrest? How can I know joy, if I never knew this funk? Is it not then a gift, an odd one, in strange wrapping?

I unwrap.

Yes. I can be with this feeling.

 

 

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Originally published October, 2013.

The Holiness of Wholeness

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Photo by Dee Hill, mirror mosaic and mask by Julia Schoss

We’re all guilty. We’re so quick to sort and classify ourselves and each other, our feelings and experiences into convenient categories:  good or bad, sinner or saint, villain or hero, black and white.

We have our preferences. We think we know. We fancy ourselves as experts of the definitive: Who we are. Who we are not. What we want. What we don’t want. What we are. What we are not.

We do the same with our beliefs, our spirituality, our values and our mistakes and shortcomings. Holiness is over there, on one side, while being flawed, being human is on the other.

I’m taking a different approach these days.  I invite you to consider that the holiness is in our wholeness. Our holiness is not just our “best” parts. Not simply our gifts and light and strength and perfection. Our holiness is in all that AND the rest. We contain all of this greatness and power and magic, AND every possible opposite because we are whole. We are human beings. We are body and soul. We are limitlessness and limits. We are everything.

We have moments that are transcendent, that put us in direct, palpable contact with the divine. I love those moments. Not gonna lie, they’re my favorite, and I’d prefer them over a deep blue funk any day. But can I also call a deep blue funk holiness? I’m learning.

When I remember to, I am developing a soft and open understanding of the holiness of my wholeness. Not just my light. Not just my bliss. Not just those transcendent moments. Wholeness. Totality. All of it.

Am I saying screw it all and just be as awful as you want to be and do whatever damaging, dangerous, destructive, shitty things you feel like doing and call it divine totality? Am I saying that we should call the horrific things that happen to us or others “good” and embrace them with open arms? Of course not.  Moral compasses, values, commitments, love, forgiveness, compassion, consequences and law are necessary systems for personal pride, strength, happiness, not to mention societal success as well.

What I am saying is this. When we put our divinity over there, and our humanity over here, our spirituality over here and our sexuality over there, our courage over here and our fears over there, under canopies of good or bad, when we separate the two, when we classify our components so severely, we do ourselves a injustice.

Want to connect with your holiness? Take your light, take your shadows, take your bliss, take your anger, take your successes, your missteps, your struggles, your raw and honest vulnerability, your broken places, your hidden places, take them all and draw a great big circle around them.

That is holiness.

Your wholeness is holiness. Not just the ‘good parts’. In fact, it’s dangerous to shuffle pieces of ourselves into this elaborate, hungry, filing system of categories and labels and judgments, as by doing so further deepens the chasm between our parts, separating us from our wholeness, and our holiness. We remain fragmented, our lonely, isolated parts starving for wholeness, for integration.

Your body breathes, your soul is the breath. Your body sweats and bleeds and poops and farts. Your soul is infinite, powerful and perfect. You would not be you without them both creating wholeness together.

One is not holier than the other. They’re a perfect union, magical and messy, mighty and whimpering, pure and shadowy, glittery and dull, brave and terrified. Even your secrets, your sins, your pain are holy parts of you.

The next time you find yourself sorting and organizing parts of yourself. Classifying and separating your spirituality from your humanity, I dare you to stop. I dare you to transcend, lift yourself above all of the words and labels and categories, draw a circle around them all.

That is your wholeness. The sacred, sexy whole of it all.

Holy, wholly you.

Warning: Some People Don’t Want You to Grow

Jealousy-300x168Shining too bright, eh?

Not everyone likes when you grow.

When you quake, it shakes their ground, too. Especially the people closest to your fault line.

Understand this: You are an evolving creature, radiating brighter than ever before, making empowered choices. You are changing. And some people hate that. They don’t even know that they hate that, they might never admit that they hate that, but when you change, and they do not, it’s a reminder. You become a mirror of what they are not. And most people don’t like reminders of what they are not.

Quite often, the ways you are changing also have direct implications for them, and the dynamic of your relationship.

They might have to pick up the slack in the relationship, or around the house. They may need to make more effort. They might have to change their minds and let go of preconceived notions or outdated beliefs about who you are. They might have to grow, too, to keep up with you, and this doesn’t always go over well.

Unfortunately, it’s a rare and preciously self-aware person that can say “The growth and change you are experiencing is making me uncomfortable and I feel scared. So in order to not act out in a way that is hurtful to you, I’m telling you what’s going on.” Nah, hardly happens like that.

Instead, there’s the acting out.

The resistance, the arguments, the distancing, the gossip, the jabs.

There might be snide or snarky comments or complete verbal punches in the gut, that take the wind right out of you. There might be knockdown-dragout arguments. It might even feel like the world itself is crumbling.

There might be a complete and radical breakdown of the relationship, where a choice has to be made, and it may be the most difficult, painful choice you have ever made.

No one ever said evolution would be easy.

But there’s no turning back. You can’t ungrow. You can try, in all sorts of unsavory, self-sabotaging ways, but even THAT is growth, believe it or not. No, you’re here.

You are evolving, you are growing in delightful, beautiful ways, and to some people, that’s just scary.

They have ideas  and beliefs about you, after all. And when you shake up someone’s ideas and beliefs, it makes them feel wrong, and feeling wrong is one of our least favorite feelings, so we will do what we need to do to stay right. Feels safer, after all. We’ve all done it. It just sucks when it happens to you. At you.

But what if it was happening FOR you?

Guess what? It is.

The distillation process gets hot. And then, there is purification.

Go ahead, grow.

Let those old skins peel and fall from you.

Become the next evolutionary version of you, without apology, without shame, without regret.  Trust your path. Claim your power. Own your shine. And know that there is a place, a world, a reality, where your shining brightly does not diminish the light of others, where you are invited and encouraged to be your most amazing, fabulous, beautiful, radiant self, with others being their most amazing, fabulous, beautiful, radiant selves.

I know this because it’s the reality I live in. It’s my address, and I won’t settle for living elsewhere.

When you shake things up, things get shaky.  Hold on to something stable, ground your feet, and keep growing.

You’ll be okay. In fact, you’ll be more than okay. I promise.

 

 

Original post date 10.1.13.

The Healing Power of a Crappy Mood

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Art by Baby Ryan Rockwell, a perfect depiction of my crappy mood.

Why is it we say we are “in pain”, when really the pain is in us?

Why is it we say we are “in a mood”, when really the mood is in us?

It’s not out there.

We contain that world of hurt, in us.

We contain the crappy mood, it’s in us.

More and more, I am remembering this important distinction. Not always, but something happens when I remember to practice this small shift in thinking. I don’t feel consumed by the pain. I don’t feel consumed by my emotions. I can hold these experiences inside me, tenderly, knowing that I contain everything, not just crappy moods and pain, but within me lives everything and I am spacious enough to hold any and every feeling.

I’ve spent so much of my life trying to avoid crappy moods and pain.

Wanting to just skip them, like fast forwarding through commercials, back to my regularly scheduled program.

And oh, let me tell you, I have devised some creative, clever, dangerous and dulling ways of avoiding, escaping or numbing myself from these feelings.

I also think many spiritual methodologies do us a damaging disservice by convincing us that somehow pain and shadowy emotions are somehow less spiritual, and should be blown past as quickly as possible to return us to our higher vibrations. Avoidance in spiritual costuming.

I am learning, year by year, day by day, a new way of being with pain and discomfort, whether physical or emotional. It’s presence.

Of course, I’m not saying I will avoid naproxen when I have a splitting headache, but I am learning to sit with myself better, to stay with myself.

I will no longer abandon myself. I have retired my tricks and tools for numbing, for racing through or resisting emotions.

I’m become my own expert at feeling, at allowing, at being.

I’m becoming a trusted friend of my feelings.

This has been no easy path. In fact, it requires more courage and boldness and devotion than I ever thought I had.

Yet, I contain everything. So I’ve been able to access these inner resources, more and more.

Here’s one little trick I use. When I notice myself experiencing a crappy mood, like most of us, I first think “Ugh, I’m in such a crappy mood.” Then my wise, loving self says “You are not in a crappy mood, the crappy mood is in you, my love.” (Yes, wise loving self speaks that sweetly to me.)

She directs me to locate the feeling, inside of me. Where is it? In my stomach? In my neck? In my chest? In my hips?

What does it look like? This part takes a little extra imagination. Often my painful emotions look like pencil scribbles, moving frenetically in a scribbly, jumbly mess. Sometimes they look like blurry reds and browns, like someone took oil paints on a palette and smeared the colors all together.

Then I direct my focus to that part of me where the feeling is hanging out, and I just look at it. Sometimes I ask it what it wants. Sometimes I just create some space around it. But mostly, I just allow it to be.

And the funniest thing happens when I allow it to be. It shifts on its own. It diminishes, it shrinks in direct proportion to my willingness to let it be. In its own natural time. It doesn’t like to be rushed. But it really just wants to move through me.

I can be with myself when I’m feeling crappy. I can stay with myself when I’m hurting, when I’m scared.

It’s taken me a lifetime to learn that when I can turn to what’s inside me with allowance, with curiosity and compassion, healing happens.

Self-trust happens.

I become a safe place for my feelings.

I’m still learning, in fact.

I’ve learned this lesson, these practices again and again, in fact.

The path of learning and healing and growing is not a linear journey, but a deepening spiral, and each time I learn and re-learn, I change. I heal.

And I am grateful for the journey. Everything uncomfortable, everything painful is an invitation to heal more deeply. And I accept the invitation. Sometimes with resistance. Sometimes with trepidation. But I accept.

Of course I prefer a cheery disposition. Who doesn’t?

But I’ll tell you, learning to be with myself in any disposition is changing everything. And it was time for everything to change.

 

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Author’s post script: If you have persistent pain or crappy emotions that won’t go away, no matter how hard you try to allow, create space around or let them move through you, ask for  help. You don’t have to go it alone. Relief is available. Talk to someone.

 

To Feel or To Numb, the Always-Question

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It happens to all of us. There are none of us immune, or above it. So-called “enlightenment” does not protect us from this very human, primal, lizard-brain response. As long as we are walking around in these skin-suits, we must acknowledge our totality– and that totality includes being very, very human.

When faced or filled with an experience or feeling we don’t like, there are three responses we might have—it’s ancient programming. It’s about survival: fight, flight or freeze. We certainly won’t die from a feeling a crappy feeling, but these feelings can feel dangerous, or at the least, uncomfortable. And we prefer comfort.

I think the act of numbing is so subversive, automatic and common, that oftentimes we don’t even realize we’re doing it. There are a thousand ways to numb. Here are some common ones:

  • Scrolling through Facebook to cheer up when grumpy
  • Drinks after a tough day
  • Netflix in bed, to quiet the mind and fall asleep
  • Shopping online for stuff we don’t need, to feel happier, knowing something is on its way to us
  • Smoking pot to escape a crappy mood
  • Making spontaneous plans with pals, to avoid being alone with our feelings
  • Having a cigarette because we’re stressed
  • Flirting with a co-worker because we feel lonely or unattractive
  • Binge-eating ice cream because we’re bored

Even some of our healthiest tools can be used for numbing- exercise, prayer, meditation, reading self-help books.

If we are trying to escape a feeling, we’re numbing, regardless of the activity.

I’ve been finding myself with uncomfortable feelings lately.  Sadness. Restlessness. Grief. Fear.  And I’m noticing that I have a choice, with every feeling. I get to decide how I respond. Sometimes I can stay with a feeling, feel it, deal with it, heal it… and sometimes, I admit it: I just want to numb.

Yikes… There’s a certain vulnerability involved in being a Life Coach and teacher and admitting to numbing at times to escape a feeling. Shouldn’t I be so evolved that I can stay perfectly present with every feeling? What will people think when they realize that I’m not perfect? Silly, I know.

I don’t think perfection is what you’re looking for. And if it is, I am not it. My promise to you is to stay current and real with what’s really going on. I am more mistrusting of the coaches and teachers who pretend they have it all together than the ones that admit to experiencing human struggles. The illusion of perfection is dangerous. We are human. Our desire to numb, our survival instinct, our animal instincts of fight, flight or freeze are about as human as being human gets.

There’s a certain vulnerability to being human, period. And yes, I am still in progress. I still am working on myself.  I am in constant communication with my Higher Self. And she says to ease up on myself, and give up my attempts at perfection and instead, embrace my totality. In fact, today, she wrote me a love letter…

 

***

Breathe.

You’ve been here before.

You know this place, you know this feeling.

Just breathe.

Notice the feeling.

Name it.

Where is it residing, in your body, right now?

Can you create space around it, with your breath?

Yep, there it is: A feeling.

And now, you get to decide what you want to do with it.

The choice really is yours.

Feel it?

Numb it?

Fight it?

Avoid it?

Talk to it?

Hold it close, like a small infant…

There, there…

Or take cover from it,

like a fierce and frightening storm…

Get me out of this…

Or put it away, tucking it out of sight,

I’ll deal with you later.

You get to decide.

Decide.

Choose.

I like it when you choose.

It’s when we don’t even know we’re choosing,

when our behaviors and coping mechanisms are automatic

and mindless

that we get ourselves into trouble.

Today you might choose to numb it.

Tomorrow you might choose to feel it.

Can you love yourself, even when you’re numbing?

Even when you’re fragile?

Even when you’re not as grand

as you would like to be?

Even when your choices seem less enlightened

than you thought you were?

I love your glory, your high and noble aspirations,

your striving for Higher Ground. But remember…

I think you are beautiful and divine all the time.

Even when you’re human.

Or maybe especially so.

***

I’m not advocating a life of mindless numbing. I’m advocating a life of being mindfully human. Choosing what feels like the best way to take care of ourselves at any given moment, even when it’s not necessarily the most enlightened response. I’m advocating a life of awareness and honesty, and of doing the best we can. After all, what more can we do?

 

 

 

 

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Author’s note: Taking it easy this summer, and sharing some of my favorite blogs as my heart instructs. This republished blog was originally posted 12.8.13. 

Shameless

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photo by dee hill

“It’s hard to dance with the Devil on your back.”
– Florence + the Machine

This isn’t the first time I’ve written about shame, and it won’t be the last, unless by some amazing miracle, it’s eradicated once and for all. Maybe then I’ll write a blog called “Remember Shame? Me Neither.” But the odds of that are slim, so I’m going to keep bringing it up.

For the last few weeks, I’ve been writing about the blocks to your most vibrant, radiant, sexiest life.  The toxic threats to your well-being. Those radiance-robbing sexy-stifling and fire snuffing habits that hinder our connection to our own inner light and diminish our joy and dull our experience.

There are a bunch. So far, we’ve discussed old programming, self-talk, judgment and comparing. And there are more to come.

I’m personally acquainted with all of them, and have had torrid affairs with most of them. A few of them still call from time to time, looking for a roll in the hay. And I must admit, I sometimes take their calls. But I’m getting better about letting them go to voicemail.

There is one I know pretty well, and that is shame.

We go way back.

Chances are, you know it, too.

I’ve come to realize that shame is the most toxic and deadly of the bunch. I’m not even speaking figuratively. Get this…

“The body has a remarkable ability to manifest shame as illness or physical problems, because the hurt of shame registers in the brain in exactly the same way physical pain does. And it also produces inflammatory chemicals in the body that set us up for illness.”

– Dr. Christiane Northrup

There is well-documented evidence that those who experienced adverse childhoods that were heavily associated with shame, abandonment and betrayal are far more likely to have health problems later on and die sooner than those that didn’t.

In layman’s terms… this shit is poison.

I have my own theories, and I bet I could find the science to back them up, that shame is an underlying root cause of addiction, self-harming, eating disorders and other struggles and illnesses.

Are you carrying shame?

Isn’t it time to be free?

Sure, sounds great, Lisa, you may be thinking. But how?

The antidote for shame is worthiness. Do whatever you can to cultivate your own self-worth. It’s not easy for many of us, but I promise, it is possible.

And here’s the interesting thing I find about shame. It is rarely founded in fact or truth. And its roots are usually very old, and usually tracing back to when we were very young, and finding subtle, sneaky ways to stay alive, “evidence” if you will, experiences to match the shame.

There are many ways to release shame…

  • spend time daily cultivating self-forgiveness and compassion

  • journal your way through

  • mantras, affirmations and mediation have the power to rewire shamepatterns in your brain

  • remind yourself regularly that you did the best you could, as you knew how

  • have an honest talk with a trusted friend

  • work with a coach or therapist on specific tools and modalities

  • investigate shame-releasing processes and therapies (a simple Google search of “how to release shame” had about 74 million hits! Obviously, this is a hot topic.)

The important thing is that you do the work to release it.

I’m still working.

I can definitely feel the freedom that comes with less shame.

But hidden in small dark crevices, some residual shame lingers. It surprises me sometimes, popping up unexpected in a behavior, or even a dream. Lingeringshame around past mistakes and choices, religious mind-fuckery, old and decrepit messages I received as a kid, sourced from  what Eckhart Tolle refers to as the “pain body”, that deep-seated part of me that does not want to live without some degree of suffering.

I am gentle with myself (when I remember to be.)

I am patient with myself (when I can be.)

I am loving toward myself (when I come from my source, which is pure love.)

We are all works in progress. No one here is expected to be perfect. No one is.

It is also true that it is impossible to be your most radiant, powerful, beautiful, liberated self while carrying the weight of shame. It’s heavy.

Let’s get that devil off our backs, so we can dance, freely, with abandon, and feel what it feels to be completely and entirely shameless.

What’s Stifling Your Sexy and Snuffing Your Fire?

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It seems to sneak up on us, the funk.

We’re not looking for it.

We didn’t ask for it. But there it is.

The funk is what I consider to be a soup of mixed feelings of the not-so-fun fare, simmered and steeped to dull perfection. It feels something like some combination of these flavors: Uninspired, frumpy, unexpressive, bored, boring, blah, ho hum, meh, stuck in a rut, cranky, edgy, lethargic, lackadaisical, grumpy, gloomy, cloudy, dim, dull.

This is what we feel when we are disconnected from our true essence, which is joyous radiance.  And these feelings are always informative, unsavory as they might be. They are clues to our truth. They invite us to explore and identify their messages, so that we deal with their sources, return to our true essence, and access our own magnificence and greatness, to be, well, magnificent and great…

When we are in our joyful radiance, we feel alive, present, charmed, radiant, powerful, sexy. And it’s a powerful force. A woman who is joyfully radiant is sexy. Can you think of anything sexier?

I often hear women in the funk use phrases like “I lost a part of me…” or “I don’t know where she went.”  I’m here to tell you that you have lost nothing. Nothing is gone.

In fact, there is a depth of radiance and power within you that you quite possibly haven’t even tapped into yet. It’s in there, waiting for you. Waiting to light up your life. Your true essence, of joyous radiance is IN YOU, even when you’re in a funk. It is not about accessing anything external. It’s about drawing forth what is already in you.

Doesn’t that feel good? To know you have everything you want and need already in you? Would you like to have more of that radiance, to feel it? What’s in the way?

I’ve been giving a lot of thought lately to what I think gets in the way of our true essence.  I’ve boiled it down to seven primary blocks. These blocks, these sexiness-stiflers, these radiance-snuffers, get in the way of our radiant life force, they disconnect us from our joyous radiance, and I’m going to be addressing these seven things over the next few weeks, as well as offering tools for diminishing their hold and rinsing them away. I’ll also be offering tools and tips for amping up your power, your radiance and brilliance so that you can access your personal recipe for living sexy.

Let’s talk about the first one…

#1 Old Programming

I’d love for you to look within and ask yourself if you are limiting your own access to your joyous radiance because of old programming. I think it’s one of the most insidious and toxic deterrents of our best, because its often so subconscious and deeply rooted, so much so that we don’t even know it’s there.

For example, I still find at times some residual programming from my fundamentalist church days, even though consciously i don’t believe most of it anymore, subconsciously, i still occasionally find myself black-or-whiting my relationship to the Divine, as if there is a “right” spirituality, and then feel that awful feeling of “falling out of grace” when I make mistakes or act in “unholy” ways. See, it’s still there. When I can spot it, and stop it in its tracks, I can ask “Is this what I really want to believe?”

If the answer is no, I ask myself “What would I rather believe?” As designer of my own faith, I get to choose:  I would rather believe that grace is limitless and nothing that I could do could separate me from my source, which is love. I want to believe that my humanity is not in opposition of my divinity, but an expression of it.

I’d love for you to be a keen observer or yourself in the coming days, and find places where your old programming shows up. Without judgment, without making yourself wrong, just notice. Ask yourself if that’s what you want to believe. Then, if the answer is no, ask yourself what you would rather believe.

You may want to write the new desired belief down, daily. Stick it on a post-it, or in your journal, so you can think about it often. Re-programming our brains takes time. New synapses need to be formed, new evidence collected. But believe me. It is possible.

Just making this one shift, to eliminate the old programming that gets in the way of your joyous radiance will open up the doors for continued shifts, in other areas. It starts simply by noticing, with compassion and kindness.

I hope you’ll join me in the coming weeks as we eliminate together the seven blocks to our own joyous radiance, power and SEXINESS!

Feel free to share your discoveries about your old programming in the comments section below. I’d love to hear from you.

Next week, we’ll talk about the second block to your joyous radiance, sexiness and magnificence. Self-talk. Ohhhh yeah!

Go on. Have Your Moment.

jealousy
Self-pity.

Anger.

Neediness.

Victimhood.

Sadness.

Jealousy.

Abandoned.

Hurt.

Rage.

Heartbreak.

Defeated.

Depression.

Darkness.

If you’re like me, this list might be titled “My Least Favorite Feelings.”

Truth be told, I’d rather feel nothing at all than feel any of these.

If I were allowed to choose my palette of feelings, they’d be bright and sunny, deeply joyful and radiantly happy, all the time. But that’s just not the way this living thing is designed.

Whether it be our religions, our families of origin, our feel-good society or our metaphysical or spiritual readings or seminars, we get the message loud and clear: Feeling “negative” feelings is trouble. Feeling these feelings lowers your vibration and stops the Universe from blessing you. (Gasp!) Feeling these feelings is ungrateful. Feeling these feelings is not spiritual. Feeling these feelings is unenlightened.

I call bullshit.

It is not the feelings themselves that get us into ruts, or block our capacity for joy, as much as our resistance to them, as much are our judgment of them.

In the last week, I have heard my clients say things like…

It’s stupid but ____.

I know I shouldn’t feel this, but ____.

I should be grateful for the good things in my life, but ___.

This is ridiculous, but ____.

I’ve also had three or four clients this year talk to me about their strategies for getting through heartbreak as quickly as possible. They usually have the word “more” in them…

Work more.

Drink more.

Eat more.

Spend more.

Date more.

Sleep more.

All in efforts to avoid the pain of their current experience, to avoid the reality of their current feeling.

In the short term, this may seem to work. I don’t have time to feel my pain if I am overextended, or hungover or have a new purse to get excited about, right?

In the long term though, what is buried alive never dies.

What we resist persists.

The wounds transmute and find a way to show up and be felt in a completely unique and unrelated, though painfully familiar situation.

One way or another, these feelings must be felt.

Is it fun? Hell no.

Is it necessary? Hell yes.

And unless there is a chemical imbalance or an actual physical condition that requires treatment, most of the time our feelings just want to move through us.

They just want to be acknowledged and felt, so they can move on.

You are a safe place for every feeling.

And when your feelings learn you are safe, they are not afraid to move through you. They stop for a while, engage you, consume you, exhaust you, drain you. But then they trust you. And they move on.

I urge you to watch the way you moderate and allow or disallow your emotions. Which of them are you most judging?

Catch yourself in the act of resisting your less-desirable emotions. Then find a healthy, loving way to feel them. Express them.

Here are some tried and true methods…

  • Journaling (saved my life a time or two, or thousand.)
  • Smash, burn or rip something. (your own property, of course.)
  • Talk to a friend.
  • Write a sad poem.
  • Dig in the dirt.
  • Swim, run, bike, hike or dance it out.
  • Spend a day or two wallowing.
  • Clean something.
  • Take gloomy selfies.
  • Wear black for days.

Some of these physical expressions of emotions can become healing rituals in your processing, a tactile, sensory experience of energy in motion (emotion = energy in motion!)

Allow yourself to have your moment. Feel your feelings. All of them, even the less-savory. Let them move through you. That’s all they ask of you.

I read recently “It’s a full-time job, avoiding your feelings.” Ha, isn’t that the truth? Ain’t nobody got time for that. I want my full-time job to be a life fully felt, fully expressed, fully experienced.

Life is for feeling. So go on, feel it all.

Allow it all, for you are vast, and mighty and brilliant and contain multitudes.

The Life-Affirming, Tantalizing, Divine Power of a Crush

16It’s ridiculously easy for me to develop a fast and furious crush. Especially in the springtime. I feel alive and new and it sure seems like life is flirting with me. And I let myself be seduced by the deliciousness life lures me with, to feel. To feel as much as possible.

For me, a crush comes on like a wildfire, usually unbidden and unexpected. It may be on someone in a coffee shop, a celebrity, a new song, a new band, a view from my window, a group of new friends, a new lovely spot to sit and think in, a smell, a color, a texture, a new season and its showy flirtations, the touch of my lover, my own amazing self, rediscovered. I allow the feeling to sweep me away, that feeling of being in myself deeply, yet outside of myself, at the same time.

This is powerful energy, the energy of a crush. It stirs me and shakes me and feels like an obsession, and I allow the obsession to take over, for a few minutes or hours or days, and soon, on its own healthy terms, it dissipates, like the light misty spring drizzle that starts out as a storm, like a spinning, dizzying carnival ride, that lets me off almost as quickly as it starts. It goes away quietly sometimes, suddenly at other times.

And in its wake, I am left feeling alive. Pulsing with reality. Fierce with the potential for passion.

A crush makes you electric, makes your blood move through your veins at rushing, palpable speeds, makes the world more vibrant and colorful, makes you more vibrant and colorful to the world.

This is good stuff!

So then why are we afraid of crushes? Are we afraid of losing control? Of making bad choices? Of getting so caught up in them, we risk losing what matters most? Are we afraid of slipping into something sinister, something confusing, something vulnerable?

At one time in my life, it wasn’t safe for me to develop crushes. I didn’t trust myself, probably because I wasn’t trustworthy. But as I’ve evolved and as my healing path continues to unfold, I’m learning and becoming who I truly am, and I’m becoming implicitly committed to myself, my relationship and my own whole and healed heart, I’m not afraid of myself anymore.

When you trust yourself implicitly, a crush is a safe and delicious way to enrich your experience of being alive, of being human.

When you have in place your own boundaries, when you know what you will allow to tickle your existence, and only tickle… when you know exactly who you want to be, and you trust and believe in yourself and your commitments, while also understanding the pure chemical reactions and delicious sensations indulging a crush invites you to experience, you can crush deeply and intensely, and risk nothing.

When you allow the intensity of emotions to spin you round and round, to turn you upside down, to shift your innards and tickle your skin, you get to feel some of the best stuff life has to offer.

Dopamine, endorphins, seratonin, oxytocin, all these wonderful, wondrous feel-good drugs and our own bodies are the pharmacy! We are designed for our own pleasure, and feeling these feelings pleases the divine!

What if “crushing” was designed by the divine to actually bring you closer to the godliness, the perfection, the divinity, that you are?

Living in restraint, avoiding feelings, avoiding the richness of head-over-heels crazy crush moments is possible. But yawn… so boring!

You are wired for the delectable joys and sensations and delights of a human being in love with the world! So pick your crush. Let it have its way with your body, with your feelings and sensastions, and the way you experience the world and the world experiences you. Let it run through you like a wild, roaring, crashing wave, while you keep your soul and mind and commitments in tact and in charge. It’s safe.

You’re safe.

So what will let yourself crush on?

 

 

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photo by dee hill, hamu by vivienne vermuth