mindingmybiz

This blog is my shared process in working towards integrating self-awareness with all other aspects of life, while on my way to becoming more authentic and whole.

The Drama of Wisdom

Intruder
Sound the alarm
An uncomfortable thought broke in
Another unpleasant memory with an unpleasant feeling

Back off, you invader
Leave me alone
I will resist you
I will cut you off
You’re an unwelcome

No.

Excuse me?

I said “No”

Who is this “I”?

I am the “I”
You are also the “I”
You’ve forgotten who you are
Just because it hurts doesn’t mean you’re going to die

I can be trusted with your thoughts, memories, and feelings

Yes, push back
Push back the smothering walls in this suffocating house
You can contain more – not less
Make room for what arises

These are not enemies
These are honored guests
Unpleasant at first yet the more you resist, the more they persist

They come from within, not from afar
Where else will they go?
They belong to you

You kick them out
And they’ll return

This isn’t a threat
It’s dharma
, it’s reality

Treat them as allies, not as foes

The choices is yours
This house is laid brick by brick
This life is made, choice by choice
This one life is yours
All yours

Whose Shit Is This?

Is it mine?
Or is it yours?

Long entangled strings from old baggage seem to follow,
like a shadow.

The longer you’ve traveled this earth, the more you collect.
In it can be treasures or and, rotten waste.

Open up your baggage! Its damn flowing train is getting too long!
It’s now a tripping hazard for you and for me!

I wish it were as easy as the Baggage Claim at the airport. 
Travelers recognize their own or can check the name tag. 
But this baggage isn’t so easily claimed!
It’s mistakenly claimed as mine when it’s really yours!

Back and forth the disclaimed and misclaimed baggage gets passionately tossed between us. 
Like a hot potato.
Scorched are the hands who hold on too long.

Not all of this will burn.
There are unclaimed treasures inside too.
There’s been a spill from the unfinished business of your past.
It has contaminated everything.

When you indiscriminately throw away your past, it comes back.
Boomerang.
Give and it will be given back?
Karmic energy?

Reclaim the abandoned energy within and between you.
This will be a joint success, a joint failure, or a joint holding pattern; awaiting clearance.
You cannot abandon this energy force, without consequence.

The whole is more than the sum of its parts.

I repeat…

The whole is more than the sum of its parts.

So…
Whose shit is this?
It’s ours.

Your past, my past
Your beliefs, my beliefs
Your experiences, my experiences
Your pain, my pain
Your dreams, my dreams
Your grief, my grief
Your fears, my fears
Your victories, my victories
Your strengths, my strengths
Your weaknesses, my weaknesses

It all goes into one bag.
Like different threads, weaved into a tapestry.

Joint ownership.  Joint consequences.  Joint time limit.

One bag
One tapestry
Many threads
Our threads

We work to carry it together and move on,
Or we toss it back and forth together
And, remain firmly stuck in a holding pattern; awaiting clearance…
someday. Who knows when?

Meanwhile, time passes by.
Time – non-renewable resource.
Time.  No returns, refunds, or exchanges.

Whose shit is this?
Ours.
Whose treasure is this?
Ours.

*This is a poem about coupleshit coupleship.

from

“Freedom from Ego-Illusion” Take #40

Here I am again. Learning the lesson that my ego is so defended against, but doesn’t understand it’s in her best interest to truly learn that I am more powerful than she believes.

I have the power to learn and grow; emotionally, spiritually, and intellectually. That power isn’t dependent on anyone else.

My ability to learn and grow as I go, does not depend on externals beyond my control – this is good news, it’s freeing news. I am free from depending on my partner, children, ex, economy, the weather, my family of origin, the personal choices of others, etc. in order to learn and grow. Am I impacted by these externals? Absolutely. This doesn’t foolishly deny the reality of interconnectedness and interdependence, it collaborates with it.

Opps, I did it again. I’ve fallen asleep to the illusion that I cannot learn important life lessons and grow, unless another is doing “xyz”.

I passionately want to learn and grow as much as I can in this lifetime. A common illusion I often zombie out to is this illusion of dependence within the context of learning and growing that purports: “In order for you to learn and grow, your partner needs to be learning and growing with you, and in similar fashion.”

Bullshit. It’s an egoic fallacy that justifies so much fear of people, places, and things I can’t control – and therefore, try even harder to control.

It was once true, in childhood. And sometimes I admit, I doze off and fall asleep and stumble through life as an adult, forgetting that I am one. Emotional pain is a jarring alarm clock. It’s adult O’clock. This is a discerning reminder that is wrapped in self-compassion, not judgment. Self-awareness at such a keen level requires an above average, adult level of consciousness and self-compassion. So the mere fact that I am aware of this and owning it means, I’m kicking ass again.

I’m up now. This is the lesson being taught through pain:

I am independent and free to grow, learn from mistakes and courageously do my inner work, and release the insane expectation that I can “get” anyone else to do this for themselves (and me). This is messy work because my ego will put up a huge fight because she believes my survival is at stake. This is why my gentle reassurance, and truly sustainable loyalty to her is so important. She fears being left without the support and loyalty of others because she’s lived through that. So, she needs to know how powerful my own loyalty to her, is.

This is where my loyalty can shine – in showing up for myself as a powerful resource and stop compulsively outsourcing my loyalty to others in hopes that they will be loyal in return. Huge waste of energy and time. Huge.

There are tremendous rewards when I wake up to my own presence, that includes both pain and joy. It is freeing. I may will need to come back to this reminder time and time again. It’s sage wisdom that often flows shortly after an egoic break-down. The aftershock of being swept up by my ego’s “good intentions” leads to breakdowns, yet also make room for breakthroughs.

I’ve been known to say “Don’t let shit go to waste, it makes for great fertilizer.” I’m using my shit to grow independent of others. You are free to do the same, my friend. That is way better news than depending on others to change, so I can grow.

Until next time, keep learning, growing, falling down, and getting back up. And remember, you are free to be loyal to your own growth path, independent of anyone else doing so or not for themselves.

from:

Seedling of Power – Enneagram Type 6

There’s a seedling of power within me.  It’s sprouting.

I’m waking up to the subconscious belief I’ve been loyal to for so long as though this was a survival-dependent strategy:

“It’s safer to be weak and unsure, doubtful, and shielded from my inner power.”

The deeply entrenched belief that claims the best source of validation is external, the most reliable feedback is the feedback from others that accentuate my imperfections, that any feedback will do as long as it will protect me from encountering my inner authority and power. Because that is a dangerous place.

For various reason, I somehow internalized early experiences in my formative years which developed into an anxious either covertly or overtly, dependent personality. This personality which is perceptively explained by Enneagram Type 6, is driven by a belief that it’s safer to project my power or any other “threatening” aspects of myself, onto others.

In certain contexts, this strategy had another layer: a callous. I didn’t want people to see how I struggle to fear my own power and even hid this from myself, unwittingly. Some people exploit vulnerability instead of provide protection and guidance, depending on their own internal structures. Sometimes I can’t tell if others will be a “protector” or a “perpetrator”. So when in ambivalence, the best defense is a good offense. This counter move against vulnerability and the fear of being exploited has sometimes made me feel “powerful” or at least, protected. It’s armor. But this armor is not the kind of power that’s sprouting within me.

The kind of power that’s sprouting within is a sense of inner awakeness to my inner world. It’s a very subtle form of awareness sprouting from my internal validation that doesn’t first depend on external validation. This sense of inner trust to what I’m awake to within, is often paradoxical yet hidden in plain sight. It connects me to inner wisdom that trusts myself enough to take risks, and learn valuable lessons from mistakes and regrets. That external validation is important and yet not primary, but supplemental to my own validation. If I don’t get it when I’m looking for it from another, I’m OK. No need to panic or get pissed off and go to combat to get it from a specific source. Nor do I need to shape-shift and contort myself to receive validation that will always miss the mark if I’m shape-shifting in order to receive it.

This conscious awakeness can rest in the faith that there’s plenty of space for seemingly polarizing “truths” to coexist, in harmony. So when I don’t receive external validation, there is no need to worry. That’s where faith fills the void, that there’s enough space for a variety of perceptions, including mine. This kind of faith requires a boldness because it may go against the current of polarization. Yet if this faith isn’t boldly embraced a fallout can occur within me, a split which can be expressed in my relationship with others, and with my worldview because that faith is the bridge. It can be that significant and also play out on a collective macro level, for better or worse.

Who can hold this kind of space where it’s safe to coexist between opposites? An Ennea-type 6 who is awake and has reconciled with their own inner power and authority. This takes tremendous courage and inner reconciliation. Breaking out of that cage of “smallness” requires inner “bigness” which goes against the flow of “safety in smallness”.

I fear my power. I fear my confidence. What if it’s wrong? What if I mess up? What if I get hurt? What if I hurt others? Power can do all sorts of unpredictable things that hurt people.

And

so can abandoned power.

Owned power has the potential to also help set people free from their chains of “what if’s” that focus exclusively on catastrophic endings.”

What if…

you were to own your inner power and live alive and awake in it?

Self-Reflections on Real vs. Fake Confidence, In Relationships

I like who I am.  I genuinely do.  Yes, there are parts of me I feel more comfortable with than others, but they all make up who I am.  They all belong to me.  The sum of all my parts make up who I am; deep, passionate, caring, and completely lovable. Not everyone will see me in this way, at least not all the time. I don’t either, and I’m OK with that. 

Others have parts of themselves they’re uncomfortable with too, and when certain parts or emotions are expressed in me, it may provoke a reaction from others which illuminates how they feel or interact with their own similar parts.  It’s very rarely personal, but almost always revealing of how one holds certain parts of themselves, usually unconsciously.  That’s exactly why it isn’t personal, yet to the degree an individual can make space for all their parts it will impact the degree of intimacy or intimate-capacity they have for another.

In conflict, pivotal opportunity arises.  The opportunity to strengthen a connection by showing up with openness.  When the struggle (and it’s often a struggle, hence the conflict) to do this is self-acknowledged, compassionate curiosity can soften the edges.  

As a type 6 on the Enneagram, I can detect extremely subtle emotional energy, for better or for worse.  You see, emotions tell on us. They reveal what we tell ourselves about ourselves, and what we tell ourselves about others, all at lightning speed. Curiosity engages with this process and slows it down, because it all happens so rapidly. Slowing the speed down serves to prevent defensively disengaging and shutting down the process, or reacting to it by going on the offense against whatever or whomever we feel defensive towards. What often happens when we don’t consciously slow down to reflect, is a missed opportunity at best, and a self-sabotaging repeat of things we’ve later come to regret.

When an individual shows up with a non-defensive presence and can attune, or meet me where I’m at with sincere, non-judgmental engagement i.e. empathy – it is extremely subtle but profound. This is how intimacy is built, and it is also where it is lost if someone cannot engage with this process. The capacity to be intimate and emotionally available with themselves, and therefore with others is what’s illuminated in these moments. And with that, the opportunity to grow. And, there is always room to grow individually and relationally.

When the opportunity is seized, it’s truly a gift.  A gift that’s birthed in imperfection. It’s a privilege to witness this. What I’m witnessing is another sacred human’s strength and profound trust in themselves, and the impact of being trusted by them as well. There’s risk involved. I want to show up as honestly and authentically as I can, there’s little room for perfectionism in this process.

The natural slower rhythms of synchronicity within this level of intimacy spring from doing enough of this on an individual level first. When two individuals mutually cultivate this kind of space between each other there’s a shared protectiveness and enjoyment, and it’s quite nice and quite rare! So, treasure it.

And while enduring the experiences where there’s a lack of synchronicity, I’m learning to not take the misattunements personally.  It’s more than likely a ripple effect of the rapid past-time insecurities, anxieties, and defenses at play. The key word is: rapid. It cannot be overemphasized how important slowing down is, in order to engage in this process productively.

In certain cases you may find yourself in isolation when it comes to having the intention to evolve, and strengthen your own self and the relationship. When another individual (of which you have no control over) is more invested in their ego boosting their self-esteem, they will defend and resist with great effort. It’s hard to believe because it feels so personal, and it is, but it’s not about YOUR personhood, it’s about theirs. Their very own sense of self-esteem is dependent on a false self (ego) to feel secure, and there is rigidity, not flexibility, in the ego. It’s ego-preservation vs. self-preservation.

When the True self is the one fueling self-esteem, there’s an openness that emerges because the True Self, knows itself and all of its parts (the good the bad and the ugly) can belong so clearly to itself regardless of how anyone may react. It’s an integrated Self that is self-accepting.

So when you experience resistance, understand this is where you can also grow. And to be clear, resistance and defensive reactions can range anywhere from avoidance to fleeing to going on the offense by becoming either passive-aggressive or blatantly aggressive. This is indicative of ego-preservation, that results from having a fragile source of self-esteem (the ego).

When (not if, but when) this happens, you’ll have an opportunity with yourself to get very clarifying information around your own ego-preservation activities, which we all have to different degrees, and of different levels of awareness and intensity depending on how your personality operates (read up on Enneagram). The cracks in your own armor around this may likely get exposed.  Ouch. And welcome to the human race, once again. How you respond has impact. Invite yourself to become empowered.

Some of us are more easily duped by our egos than others. To those who have very sophisticated egos when it comes to self-awareness and where we are on our growth maps, you may want to ask yourself some discerning questions:

  • Do you value or dismiss what’s triggering you? 
  • Do you engage in vulnerable and compassionate self-reflection, sharing this with at least one individual who will challenge and vet your narrative?

If not, you’ll stay stuck and your evolution will pass this opportunity by, and will return again and again until you’ve worked this through to completion.  And, may then visit your descendents for the opportunity to evolve in the next generation.

Little by little, (which is the pace that organic life grows) you’ll stretch your window of tolerating discomfort as you receive these Divinely inspired opportunities to say yes to building a sense of genuine self-confidence that stems from grace and truth.

This is how ultimately how I see adult development works, whether I like parts of it or not. 

“But, what good is that?”

We’re currently in the midst of a pandemic. “Normal” isn’t happening. In times like these, I find there to be an “illumination effect” in revealing what lurks in the shadows of everyday distractions. Take away the distractions, the daily routines and “normalcy” – you’ll find things you didn’t see or feel so clearly. Or, at least it was more conveniently overlooked. It’s in this space, I wrote this poem regarding my own intimate relationship and taking its pulse, within me.

“But, what good is that?”

I want to share myself as authentically as I can, being fully who I know I am. – With him.

But, what good is that?

I want adventure! I want to be fully awake and alive; spiritually and emotionally, not just physically! – With him.

But, what good is that?

I want to be challenged and stretched graciously yet persistently, to reach for new heights and new depths! – With him.

But, what good is that?

I want to bust free from this goddamn smothering straight-jacket of “status quo” and “fitting in” for crumbs of superficial validation. – With him.

But, what good is that?

I want us to become who we were divinely created to be, not merely who we’ve been “tamed”, “conditioned”, or “raised” to be. – With him.

But, what good is that?

I want to be wildly free, from this cage of mediocrity. – With him.

But, what good is that?

What my heart and soul long for is closeness, beyond merely physicality. – With him.

But, what good is that?

My pursuit and fight for intimacy is a result of an ongoing experience of a partner who resists intimacy, and me resisting his resistance. This is resulting in regression and degeneration – the opposite of what my heart longs for. – With him.

But, what good is that?

Why, do you keep asking me this? I’m trying to have intimacy!

But, what good is that?

The merry-go-round of resistance keeps me from what I’ve been terrified of – acceptance and the grieving through accepting what is. There is shame wrapped up in the grief. This is my inner work of healing, which I’ve been unconsciously avoiding because it’s so damn painful and uncomfortable. We are apart, together. And together, apart.

Go in peace my dear child, grieve. – With me.

“You” & Company

“You” are a complex mosaic of the kind of company (kin and nonkin) you’ve most significantly had (chosen and not chosen) throughout your life. This inner mosaic formation of your “self” began before you had the conscious choice to be aware of it. And, me too.

How you see “You” does not form in isolation but rather within our most significant relationships beginning from the beginning of your existence. Yet, how your unique “You” forms, is also organized and collated in solitude. It’s a complex dynamic of both internal and external exchanges continuously at work. You could also say, it’s a bit of a complex recipe of “nature and nurture”.

You and I are complex social-emotional bonding creatures. This is how we are neurobiologically hardwired. Once we get with this reality of being mammals; not reptiles – we are empowered with accepting reality about or own nature, and the wisdom that flows from that.

The main difference between reptiles and mammals I’m referring to is regarding how our survival depends on at least one other human being to nurture and protect us. Reptiles do little to nothing to care for their offspring, and they survive just fine in the wild. Mammals take complete care of their offspring even producing their food source from their own bodies. For mammals this level of caregiving is about survival, not just ego fortitude. But for human mammals, it gets complicated.

During what we call our “childhood” we begin to form our sense of “self”. Our “internal map” of who we are in this world gradually downloads from our first dependent relationship; our primary caregiver. We often take this for granted because it’s so ingrained in the survival of our species that we don’t think much about it, let alone meditate on this part of reality. This is not to assign blame on our primary caregiver, for the task of raising human offspring is a highly demanding, long-term job that needs a solid support system from other adults, in order to do well at (offspring that thrives vs just survives). In our modern day culture, we often lack that support system.

Now, I’m going to assume some things about you though I obviously don’t know, “you”. I’m assuming that since you’re reading this, you’re a human and therefore a mammal. And since you are a mammal, I’m going to assume that you have a complex and sophisticated nervous system that responds to your social/relational environment by providing you with involuntary (doesn’t require your conscious awareness) biofeedback in terms of how you feel, both bodily and emotionally.

For example, if you’ve been betrayed by an important person in your life you may feel several emotions. One may be anger. Upon discovery, you may experience certain sensations within your body. Perhaps a change in your breathing, heart rate, and muscle tension. Does this make you “weak” because you’re letting something “get to you”? No, you are simply being a mammal, a human one.

But if this happened while you were young and you were treated as if there was something wrong with you for having such a mammalian reaction, this would shape how you see your “self”.

I believe in adulthood, some of us have forgotten what we are, or most likely this was sadly never introduced into our upbringing. We don’t come with manuals so we’re on a lifelong journey of discovering what that would say if we did come with one. Our very own inborn interdependent nature has been sophisticatedly, shamed and denied because we judge what we don’t understand about ourselves – our very nature that needs to be nurtured, not reformed. And that nature consists of gradually forming our sense of “self” while in relation with others based on how we are neurobiologically wired.

Our sense of who we are, our sense of “self” develops in relationships, not in a vacuum. An infant needs to be acknowledged and responded to by another, to know they have a “self” that exists. Without the “other” an infant doesn’t exist. The type of emotional bond or attachment one has with their caregivers, forms the soil in where their sense of “self” starts to emerge. There is no real separation between an infant and their mother (or primary caregiver).

In toddlerhood, this is the first developmental phase where separateness is discovered. When this autonomous-from-mom or caregiver, sense of “self” starts to bud. There is a “peek-a-boo” with this emerging separate “self”. The toddler realizes this new “person” is themselves. How the caregiver responds to this adds onto the young child’s developing sense of who they are. If this get labeled as “naughty” or “mischievous” behavior by mom or significant people the child is bonded and dependent on, this informs the child’s way of seeing this new separate “self”. If the toddler’s exploration gets labeled as “curious” behavior and is welcomed in a positive light more than not at least, this also informs the toddler’s sense of who they are. All of this happens for the child on a subconscious level.

There is a secondary developmental phase of autonomy, and that is what adolescenthood is. It’s another step away from home. It’s a phase where you straddle needs met at home, and outside of home. The human brain is extremely complex and it takes us until we are well into our 20’s to finish developing the prefrontal cortex, which is in charge of our executive functioning. During this pruning phase in the adolescent brain, we are breaking away albeit in practice, from the home. If this is done fully in our teenage years, there is a loss of support that is still needed as we form our perception of who we are, out in the world. You see what I meant when I said that raising humans takes a long time!

As you can see, the mosaic of our sense of “self” develops over many experiences with others. I finally understand this and how difficult it is for many of us in the West to grasp. We get brainwashed into believing we “ought” to operate as reptiles and be able to develop a healthy sense of who we are, independently. Then, to be this independent person in the world who pulls themselves up by the bootstraps and doesn’t let relational upsets “get to them”. Or even our own emotions get to us, which is often signaling to us what kind of relationship we have with our own “Self”.

As an Emotional Empowerment Coach who has been on her own journey of “Self” and am so passionately intrigued with the role that emotions play into this, I take this work to heart. It’s important and integral to mind your own emotional business which is all about “Self development”.

It’s important, but not somber (it can be fun!) work that is truly about coming home and making that full circle journey of development. This is a profound spiritual journey, where you return from a journey out there, back to your “True Self” to find that you are truly at home, in your own skin.

I’m on my own journey of making myself more and more at home in my own skin. I hope this warmly helps with yours.

Know Your Place

Where do you look, in order to know your place?

Allow me to show you. . .

Please, have a look in the mirror.

Get to know the one staring back at you. Understand the person in the mirror – deeply, intimately, slowly, steadily, and thoroughly. You’ll find your place, inside.

In the words of Maya Angelou: “You only are free when you realize you belong no place – you belong every place – no place at all.”

This used to make no sense to me. Until, I understood for myself that freedom is found within. In making space by letting go of finding your place, outside of you.

When you truly and thoroughly claim yourself, you belong to you. Another person’s disapproval or judgment cannot displace you. You cannot be internally exiled, by another’s exile of you.

This is about personal responsibility, which is what leads to personal freedom.

To truly claim and belong from the inside out, you’ve got to allow yourself to travel the depths of all you are. You’ve got to allow yourself to feel what arises while looking inside yourself. Is there discomfort? Stay there. Gently. This is the gateway to freedom.

To the extent that you disown and deny aspects of yourself when it feels uncomfortable (often subconsciously because it’s what you experienced in your formative years) you’re abandoning yourself. It may feel “familiar” to do so. I know it has for me. I didn’t know any other way. But by doing this I was putting myself, out.

Self-abandonment will keep you in a prison cell, while giving away your power to others to define who you are. Or, to acknowledge that you even exist.

There will be certain aspects of yourself which make you feel uncomfortable. Intensely so. You may feel the urge to reject and shame certain parts of yourself. This is all a part of the healing journey. There’s nothing wrong with you if you experience this discomfort. You can start by being present and curious with your inner-banisher, for this too is a part of you. Why does this part feel the urge to banish certain parts of you? Which parts of you get the boot? Those are parts that need to receive special attention, from you.

When you abandon parts of yourself, you’re likely going to inadvertently depend on an external source to do what you aren’t doing for yourself. Perhaps because you weren’t consciously aware you did this, or haven’t trusted that you’re enough to do this.

You can and you are.

In fact, only you have the power to set yourself free. Accepting the vulnerable parts of you is an act of true inner security, strength, and courage. This is necessary and therapeutic when it happens through another person’s validation who assists in filling developmental gaps from childhood, but don’t stop here. It’s only when you start doing this for yourself, that transformation and freedom unfolds.

If you’re constantly looking for others to accept your vulnerable parts while you reject them, and you get their temporary validation – you’re still not free; regardless of how much another may love or validate you. It can be a great start, but you’ve got to take the baton sooner or later and do this for yourself as a practice. In other words; again and again.

Take note; you cannot bypass parts of yourself which make you feel the most uncomfortable. Actually let me restate that. Of course you can do whatever you want on your journey. You are the one who lives it. But know this – you will be housing a fragile sense of self that gets easily triggered by factors outside of your control. So, consider this side-effect of discomfort-avoidance as you evolve. As you evolve, you’ll likely notice yourself tolerating avoidance less, and becoming more sensitive to what you’re missing out on when bypassing the rich opportunity that discomfort often presents.

I’ve found it’s also immensely empowering to become well acquainted with different aspects within, which seem in direct conflict with one another. Give yourself time and gentleness, and convene. This is profoundly healing work. Work that pays off because it empowers you to trust yourself more and more, which includes owning your right to make mistakes and learn from them.

By doing this inner work, you give yourself the conscious awareness of how these parts have formed your personality and parts of your identity in ways that don’t serve you like they once did, and perhaps you’ve never questioned any of this because you believed “you” were rigidly set in stone. Not so. You are malleable. Neuroscience call this neuroplasticity. As a human being, you are able to form new neural pathways and always add onto your learning, throughout your entire lifespan according to your level of openness. That is how we’ve survived this long. But you don’t just have to merely survive (aka not be dead). You can awaken, thrive, and be fully ALIVE.

I believe all of us formed a “self” as a means to adapt and survive while we were young, within whatever emotional environment we grew up in, by no choice of our own. This is my understanding of what an “ego” is. The ego isn’t inherently good or bad. It’s an adaptation, a pretty sophisticated but manufactured identity or “false self” that was formed without a conscious awareness in order to protect the True-Self, while your brain was still developing, and the mechanisms to defend our True Self got wired in along the way, and often become how we see our “self” vs how we survived our childhood environments which were less than ideal for the True Self to be engage with others. These defensive strategies can also be re-learned to serve us better as we receive feedback from present day life. IF – you are not offended by the feedback because you understand it’s not about your worth, but about your programming.

Until consciously examined, the ego is an adaptive autopilot personality or “false self” consisting of various unexamined beliefs which run you. It learned quickly in early childhood about what kind of “person” you should be in order to position yourself to receive external validation at best, or not be abused or neglected (physically and/or emotionally) at worst.

In childhood we develop our sense of “self” from the outside in. Our brain codes our experiences along with the emotions we carry at the time, based on how others (initially our primary caregivers) reflect us back. This starts during our preverbal years. That is how all children start to develop, from the outside in. It takes a long time for our brains and nervous systems to fully mature and develop. During our development, from the time in utero until we are well into our 20’s, lots of experiences happen (lots of which are not optimal) which get wired in as we try to make meaning of our world; internally and externally. When we don’t have caregivers or adults in our lives who can help us make meaning from our experiences in a way that validates our worth (from them knowing their own worth) we are left to fill in a lot of blanks as young kids. That’s a pretty grown-up job for a child to fill in for, so be gentle on yourself. And this isn’t about your parents being consciously and willfully neglectful or incompetent. In most cases it’s done without their conscious awareness. In any case, this is about how you now can consciously respond.

In adulthood we have more choices. We can choose who we reach out to, we’re not confined to our parents, our family of origins ,or school teachers, etc. We have more say-so. Often we filter through who we reach out to with what feels most familiar on an unconscious level. It’s the most energy conserving way, at first. Until life gives us feedback in the form of pain. Learning to expand what is “familiar” takes intention and time. Taking one step at a time through unfamiliarity will eventually lead to new “normals” of to what feels familiar. Again, this takes time. Be patient with yourself.

In adulthood I can practice accepting parts of me that were judged in childhood. They no longer need to hide for protection, they just need connection to the rest of me, and to others who’ve earned my trust.

When you can boldly accept all your parts, even especially the weird ones – you will set yourself up to receive acceptance that is available externally and freely. If you are still not accepted externally and are respectfully being authentic; it is most likely not an issue between you and them, but an issue between that other person and an aspect of themselves they are not accepting. Often without their conscious awareness. Wish them well or farewell, you may need to grieve a loss depending on what is lost but know you are not losing your own place,, within you. It isn’t your place to force another to accept you or to force yourself to contort yourself so they can pseudo “accept” you. You don’t have to do that anymore.

Know that your place is still securely within you regardless of where others place you.

Wherever you go, you belong. Because wherever you go, there you are. And you belong to you. Saith who? Saith you.

To Humanly Exist…

What does it mean to be human?

What does it mean to be “enough”?

To be human is to be enough, and not inherently lacking.  Yet, we have needs.  We have needs that are not always met right away.  How do you cope with unmet longings without letting go of your own heart and soul?  Is it by connecting to your heart and soul, without an agenda other than to just see the soul in its purest and most vulnerable form?  No masks, no pretenses.  

Consider nature.  It shows its bare naked soul, 24/7.  I don’t see the trees trying to cover their tree nature up or hide from being seen as a tree, while trying to imitate the ocean instead.

The wind blows, and doesn’t try to flash like lightning bolts.  The sun shines its bare naked soul, and doesn’t try to alter itself and shine instead, like the moon.  The orchid doesn’t try to be like the rose and strive to grow thorns. Nature exists, naked and unashamed. 

Nature is strong and yet, it is impacted by humans who have free, independent wills.  

Humans are impacted by independent wills, while being also impacting how others use their own wills. 

What is it like to be who you are, and not try to be who you aren’t?  We have so much to learn from nature.

To be contently human means to live in the fluctuating ambiguity of what it means to long for, and yet be satisfied with what is.  It is part of the human experience to feel pain and loss, to love and reach out, while risking rejection, to let go, as well as to passionately embrace.  To experience joy and abundance, grief and dissonance, yet understand that nothing we know as we know it, is permanent.   

How to live humanly well is to live in acceptance of our power and limitations.  To live in mystery and understanding.  There are not always available answers. And yet to accept this mystery while not shutting down, or tripping up others from getting their own unique answers and experiences, is how to live well, together.

The answers I seek, the security I seek, is found in letting go of that which I cannot control.  I cannot control as much as I try to, yet I can control more than I believe I can.  My power is expansive, yet I feel constriction when I am withholding my own power, from myself.   

I am impacted by my environment, that is not weakness – it is nature at work.  I am a living and evolving creature who is impacted by her environment, and also impacts her environment.

The anchor to life’s ups and downs can be found in the most basic of ways – connection to my soul.  I’m finding my soul is similar to others yet has a uniqueness only I possess.  I can intimately engage with my soul yet, experience she is evolving and can be as mysterious as the night-time sky.  And I find what anchors me in one moment, can shift just like the night-time sky.  And what anchors me, may differ from what anchors you. I can be at peace, with all of this.

Living life well is about living in paradox, well.    

Just like the universe, it is expansive and reaches way out there and is always expanding, yet is right here, within my soul. 

And, I believe it is in your soul as well.

Trust Your Anger

Say what?

Yes. I am here to tell you that you can trust your anger. This emotion has been so poorly misunderstood for many folks, including myself. And I understand why. When we don’t understand that our anger is offering us a love-based power, we tend to distrust, fear, resist and/or misdirect it.

I’ve done all the above. Yet the thing is with anger (and all of our “negative” emotions) it doesn’t magically disappear just because we ignore it. Emotions are energy, and according to my high school daughter’s science teacher; energy cannot be destroyed or created, but transferred. Now, whether the act of transferring of energy is conscious or not, that’s where having an empowerment lens regarding emotions comes into play.

What if anger is meant to be a loving and persistent wake up call? A clarion call to expand, first within yourself.

When we keep hitting the ‘snooze’ button on our anger, it doesn’t work out too well for long. Anger is meant to wake you up and the more you try to resist it, the more it will persist even if it means it has to come out sideways. And when our emotions have to come out sideways, there are usually unforeseen and undesirable “side effects”, pun intended.

Common ways anger comes out sideways is by being super judgmental and intolerant of certain differences, while feeling a sense of self-righteousness. It also comes out by being covertly aggressive while feigning this helpless victim/vindictive mode of operation, triangulation, gossip, “isms”, divisiveness, and ultimately consumes a ton of energy to keep anger, on lock-down. Sometimes there is so much energy used up to lock-down anger (which again is energy itself) that people will collapse or implode from basically going to war with their own energy. Depression comes to mind.

I see depression as energy literally used to depress energy; an emotional civil war of sorts that presents in a multitude of self-harming ways in order to release this built up tension from a civil or internal war. There will be success in the sense of temporarily avoiding the anger, but this comes at a huge cost. Consider countries who are engaged in civil wars; burning up valuable resources to fight themselves.

The goal of avoiding anger may be reached by not ever authentically expressing it, but usually this results in ultimately feeling: ISOLATED and drained, while blaming external factors or people, for the internal civil war. That IS depressing.

What if your anger wants to bring you connection, first within. What if anger was a bridge between the gap of who you think you “ought” to be and who you are, authentically?

Anger is an alarm. It’s a wake up call. What is anger waking you up to?

Your TRUE SELF and the power you have in being true to this self.

You may keep hitting snooze on your anger if you fear and judge aspects of yourself, as well as your own sense of personal power. You may believe it’s better to give away your power, and hold someone else responsible for this. Yet when they inevitably disappoint you with your power you’ve given away, you blame them. This keeps you stuck. If this is what you want, don’t change a thing. Don’t look within.

If you want something different, you’ll have to be willing to do something, different.

The way out, is through your anger. Listen to it.

When I’ve tapped into my own anger, this is what I’ve heard it saying: 
Hear Me. See Me. The REAL Me.  Stop giving me away to other people. Stop giving away my Power. Stop abandoning me. I know you can handle me. You can handle my power. I am trustworthy, but I will not shut up. I am not evil. I will not make you “sin”. I do not want to harm you or others. I want to wake you up to something bigger and better, but you are asleep within your comfort zone, fearing the unknown. Fearing the unfamiliar. I am here to provide you with the necessary fuel to trek through uncharted territory and do things that are not within your norm. The norm is boring and lulling you to sleep. I am here to WAKE YOUR LOVELY ASS UP to how parts of you have been indoctrinated with bullshit. Do you want to hold onto bullshit? I am here to wake you up to living a life that you truly mean to live, yet there are limiting subconscious beliefs getting in the way. I’m not afraid to confront bullshit, I can handle it. Trust me, and WAKE UP.”

This is the empowered message of anger. It’s a wake up call to live more consciously and authentically. Ironically, the more you snooze your anger, the more you will distrust it because you are experiencing the side-effects of denied anger, which comes out SIDEWAYS.

And you SHOULD be leery of anger that comes out sideways. It ain’t pretty, it’s quite depressing actually. And yet you can let your anger direct you, back to yourself, one step at a time.

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