in celebration of mother's day a few friends and i planned a wild women/women's tribe/mothering ourselves/supported by grandmothers/mothers/good things that beat our shame gremlins butts' party.
we used modpodge to exorcise our shame gremlins. tears mixed with the most amazing images that showed our deepest fears and our greatest hopes. we sat around the table and listened to one another and as we shared on gremlins we whispered, "not true" to one another.
last week, i was texting a friend who lives across the country. an old memory of a time i was "lint-picked" in my creativity. the memory had surfaced (while i was doing my vein of gold--the artist's way 2 processing) and it was one i didn't know i was holding onto. (no, no it wasn't you my loves. i promise. you were lovely and life-affirming and truly my tribe. thank you from the bottom of my creative, vulnerable heart for supporting and loving and helping and cheering).
i shared it with her and she texted back, "Can we rewind that moment!!! Pretend I am there!!! When she takes you aside and [protecting the innocent] I say to you. . .Not true!!! I softly say!!! Not true. . .Then I softly turn toward [her] and say. HELLO FEAR!!! HELLO REPRESSED DREAMS!! HELLO SCARCITY!!! Don't you know the TRUTH!!!!!!! There is ABUNDANCE!!!!!!! You want a voice a piece??? GO GET IT. It's all yours!!!! There is ENOUGH!!!!!!! In fact there is plenty!!!!!!"
i cried when i received that text. that past situation was healed in the present by a wonderful friend. a mentor once suggested taking a difficult situation and re-writing it with the ending we would have wanted. that never quite worked for me. if i re-wrote a situation everything in my present would have shifted. it drove my crazy time-travel-boggles-my-mind-mind crazy. but THIS, this text from my friend, was the ending i needed and could see. it didn't change everything, but it changed everything. it was a witness.
that night, around the table, we witnessed one another's fears and hopes.
(shakes fist at typepad/computer/non-picture-flipping gods).
yet, two days later, a shame-gremlin roared up in me via social media.
i tumbled down a rabbit-hole of an account and blog that made me feel worse and worse about myself with each post. yet, i couldn't back away. and i felt queasy as i looked around at my own world and felt failing next to her quick and easy tips for it seemed like EVERYTHING in life. i started to fall and spin. tim asked what was wrong and i was embarrassed to admit it. how could i fall for such nonsense? why was this shame gremlin roaring in my ear that that life was better than my own. that somehow i had failed the life i was supposed to have. it wasn't even quite a gremlin i had visualized or named yet. it just snuck up on me. it surprised me. it ambushed me. earlier a jealousy gremlin had done the same. but, i took that one by its heel and sat down with my journal and wrote it out. i 'byron kati-ed' it. i faced it and conquered it until i was centered and calm and back in a love-based state, before i interacted with anyone while i was in my dysfunction. i wondered after over an hour and half of journaling if i was crazy. seriously? this is how much time it spends for me to be sane?
but a couple of days ago i felt a deep gut peace that i could spend more time in my dysfunction feeding an addiction or a numbing habit with time and money or i could tackle it this way. yet, this one gremlin i tackled in a slightly different way. it wouldn't be ignored and i wouldn't feel ashamed for feeling it. i used to pretend my dark emotions away. i was a good girl. i shouldn't feel envy. or anger. or even sadness. i didn't understand i could let these pass through me and still be a "good."
i thought of my friends who had printed out images of the opposite feeling of their shame gremlin. for example, fears about creativity on one side of the card became creativity-affirming images on the other.
so, this was the picture of my shame gremlin that roared from social media, disguised as lemon breeland from hart of dixie. a reincarnation of this lady from my mom's past (but without the big nose).
so, i asked myself what's the opposite of this? this yucky--i feel yucky about myself mix of sadness, envy, grief and i need to start doing ballet even thought i've never wanted to do ballet-ness?
i looked through my 8,000+ pinterest images (yes, that's a story for another day) and found this. and it made my body sigh. and my heart rate decrease. and the yucky feelings of 'not as much as HER' go away. sure, in most respects this pictures is just as unrealistic as the picture i had painted in my head of this other person's life. i'm never going to be hanging lace tablecloths on a line in my matching lace dress. yes, all i remember of hanging clothes on the line were the super stiff levi's on my grandma's line and the towels that looked like cardboard, not at all fluffy and windblown. BUT, it didn't matter. this image breathed CONTENT all through my body. simplicity. down to basics. stopped getting wrapped up in "stuff."
i took this exercise through the rest of my shame gremlins. a quest to find the opposite image.
the feeling of being constricted by others' rules and expectations and perfectionism became
and this. growing, bursting, light, and freedom.
stepford wives expectations became
intimate. personal. real.
the "hounds of more" became
be still. hear your own voice with your own calling.
the "you can't do it. you are fragile." became
seriously? i'm not going to believe that for a second. dude, i've shot a gun since i was 12. i have deer horns and an antelope mount hanging in my parlor. step away.
shining on all your flaws became
yes, i may be imperfect, but i am worthy of love and belonging and i have glitter in my armpits.
those creativity wolves? well, they became
the gossip monsters?
first. remember your tribes of wild women.
then remember this mantra.
and then say, "i am too big for you to hold and i am busting out of the tiny house you have put me in, because i am GROWING."
the you are nothing monster?
whatever on that one. i'm a freakin' light-being.
fear of the future.
this grandma guards that one for me.
and all the hundreds of monsters that i haven't named yet, that i haven't been triggered by recently. . .
step aside, i'm a lioness with you know a huge man-eating cat walking by my side.
a couple of months ago i sat down with a journal and thought of the person i wanted to be like, who was real. a mentor. a guide. the person that came to my mind was kathy headlee-miner. i was inspired by her class, her mission, her thoughts about life. and i knew there was a large gap from what i knew and what she knew, but it inspired me, instead of defeated me. that day i received an email that she would be teaching an all-day class on saturday and it was open to the public for free previously, it had been marketing for several hundred dollars. i went. i soaked up the principles. i filled a new notebook.
one thing she shared was this:
she wrote a list of "fear-based" states (which is our false-self) as we began to call them out (guilt, shame, hopelessness, gossip, anxiety, worry, pride, criticism, victim, control, defensiveness, jealousy, anger, worthless, etc.).
then she wrote a list of"love-based" states on the board (creativity, authenticity, joy, unity, trust, hope, confidence, bravery, connection, forgiveness, cooperation, empathy, peace, patience, loyalty, contentment, understanding, passion, wisdom, abundance, present-mindedness, motivation, love, etc.). these love-based states are where we are mean to live. the world is blessed when you are around when you are living in this state. you are healing the entire planet. this is from kathy, who actually lives in africa for half the year and heals desperate problems.
she shared that we cannot get from a fear-based state to a love-based state by sheer will-power. THIS is the process she outlined in august, that i certainly needed to hear again in march. she encouraged each of us to get to know our "machine." ourselves and our bodies. watch when you are connected and when you are not. and we will cycle through from fear to love based states again and again, because that is our PRACTICE that is why we are here.
1. be aware (i intend to know what state i am in. in other words, i am going to stop and call out 'jealousy' when i see it. or i am going to call out my shame gremlin of 'scarcity' when he comes and whispers to me).
2. get present. BREATHE (my lessons on breath here, here, and here). get out of your mind and into your body and present moment. slow down. take 90-seconds to let this uncomfortable feeling travel through and out of you.
3. decide you want something different (observe. what was i thinking at the time when i dropped into this fear-based state? who was i interacting with? what did i make this experience to mean? this reaction isn't attached to the action. for example 100 people will react differently to the exact same situation).
4. go to gratitude. GRATITUDE is the BRIDGE that takes me from that picture of my shame gremlin, my fear-based state and shoots me over to that picture of myself as a lioness, or a sword-carrying light angel, or a woman hanging her lacy eyelet tablecloth on the lawn in the sunshine. THIS is my soul. and gratitude is the bridge that will enlarge the space around me so i can get there. kathy suggested thinking of a BIG gratitude that is big enough to shoot you over to the other side. this is bigger than your gratitude for indian food. it is tucking your kids in at night everything is good gratitude. or god is good in nature gratitude. whatever it is for you. for kathy, it was imagining one of her six grandkids. you are at home in gratitude. you are not home in cynicism or anger, even if you are familiar with it. gratitude puts you in a state where higher beings reside. it will enlarge the space around you and then you can move forward into that divine space.
5. choose a love-based state (for my example of feeling 'not-as-good' a pinch of 'jealousy' and then i realized it was a dose of 'what-i-thought-that-was-what-my-life-would-look-like' a little bit of grief--well, the opposite of that--which took me an HOUR to figure out was CONTENTMENT).
then you say, "i am CONTENT." oh holy cow, this is when your ego/false self (and your shame gremlins) will rise up their claws and growl, "LIAR!" you are not content, you just walked around for an hour grumbling about your lack of taco tuesdays and ballet work-outs in tight pants. BUT, you say back, "i was created by a divine creator and i am going to create this in my life." and i would add say, BACK AWAY.
6. If you can't move out of that state on your own, ask for Divine help. (i would also add the practice of tapping. it's a simple practice of tapping on your heart while saying your affirmation, "i am content" or "i am safe." and then holding your wrist while you bring up that overwhelming memory/feeling of gratitude. it's just one more way to get out of your head and into your body).
7. be still. sit with it.
you are not getting rid of these things you are TRANSMUTING their energy (at this point in my notes i wrote #alchemy2016).
also, i couldn't find the post i wanted to link from glennon moyle about dropping keys, but i did find this and thought it should be added--because hello wet monsters and envy. excellent.