What’s Happening?!? An Update

I haven’t posted here for almost three months! Yikes! This doesn’t mean that i haven’t been busy with transitioning. In fact, it means i have been busy with transitioning, including cleaning up the undergrowth. This summer, i have attended two wonderful and intense workshops. First a 9-day “International Intensive Training (IIT)” and then a 7-day “Living Energy of Needs (LEN)” workshop. Both have been intense and transformative, especially LEN. There i learned about Interpersonal Neurobiology, which is helping me shape what i would like to offer as my life contribution (i wrote more about both here). What i would like to share here, though, is the undergrowth stuff.

Transitioning is scary! I am making my own path as i walk it, as i find it. Before i went to the IIT, i had noticed a procrastination habit. I wasn’t putting myself out there – i wasn’t promoting my business. It was a little that i didn’t really know exactly what i want to offer. I was dabbling in coaching and not really enjoying it – somehow it wasn’t going deep enough. The bigger issue was, though, that i believed that what i was offering wasn’t really worth anything. So, i decided that was something to look at: Why did i keep telling myself that what i was offering wasn’t good enough? At the IIT, i started digging. One big clue came from my reaction to this beautiful song. I realized that I was the one who told myself that i was not beautiful! My jabs at my own worth ran deep, very deep. I left the IIT holding on to a little more of a sense of self-worth and a reminder for the path from one of the trainers: “Keep chipping away at the self-doubt.”

At LEN, i dug deeper. I set my intention to immerse myself in a complete sense of self-worth, to be flooded with self-confidence as i manifest my dream, and to fully experience feeling beautiful and lovable. I worked with Susan Skye on transforming the pain of not meeting my need for self-worth. It freed me to be more fully myself, to bring myself authentically to the workshop.

This was harder to maintain as i returned to the other reality – the world outside of a supportive community interested in healing and growth. Fortunately, i found a few fellow travelers who were willing to hold me as i consolidated what i had learned. Some of them i had met before the workshops and some of them i had gotten to know at the workshops. And again and again and again they held me as i dug deeper and deeper into the stories i am telling myself, the manifestation of what i call cultural imprinting. Cultural imprinting is the stuff that we learn simply by living in a culture that has so many life-alienating messages, including things that manifest as the belief that we’re not good enough because we are a woman, single, or some other non-normative state.

I also learned that i was carrying messages with me from my childhood that reflected sexist gender roles. Because my father was a man, he expressed his love for me differently. That was confusing to me as a child and the way i made sense of it – i suspect – was by blaming myself. Somehow i learned that expressing emotions, being authentic, meant being out of control. No wonder, i have trouble expressing deep emotions! And then this idea got tied in with physical safety: During my marriage in my early 20s, it was simply not safe for me to express my needs to an abusive husband. Pleasing him meant i’d be safe. Those messages were still there. And i dug them all up. Some by myself. Most with the help of others who (virtually) held me with empathy, care, and love.

What emerged from all this work is a new life energy: The energy to embrace life with passion when i am enjoying life and compassion when i am not. Compassionately looking into why i am not enjoying myself in a particular moment helps me figure out what needs aren’t met. Then i can figure out how to get those needs met. And sometimes this means healing old pain. The cool thing is that the more i understand those old messages, the more i integrate myself, the more passionate i am living. I find myself smiling a lot more :-). It seems that all of this undergrowth work is paying off…

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