Hello beautiful women,
We are in a new year – how is 2019 feeling to you so far?!
I find that the month of January feels more like I’m wrapping up the previous year than launching into fresh beginnings.
This newsletter is part of that process (best read on a big screen…it’s long).
My word for 2018 was Grace.
My biggest epiphany was, “What I Do…”
In 2018 I was deeply humbled and recognized all of the ways in which I don’t embody Grace, primarily with my husband but in truth, in any challenging relationship. I had a huge epiphany that came out of a relationships workshop I attended last March, I wrote about it in September, and in November I attended the sequel workshop and gained significant clarity.
So now I’m more clear on what it will take to one day arrive in a place where I feel like I am a full-of-grace person.
What I mean by that is, one who can handle any situation with my highest-self actions. And one who feels really good in my body. I want to feel pride living a heart-centered life, and I want it to feel natural – not something I’m trying to obtain.
I’m not there, yet, but I will acknowledge how far I have actually come.
What I learned in 2018 is that truly harnessing Grace will require a practice, or a nurturing! of expansion when I want to contract. And I contract throughout every single day, this contraction is essentially triggered by a pattern that stems from an old story.
Like, “Because my emotional needs were not met in childhood, the most informative years, I believe that another person, primarily my husband, will not fully meet me emotionally. Because of this belief I contract to ‘protect’ myself when my feelings are upset and I point my finger at him/them and focus on his/their imperfections and inadequacies. I also file the experience away in a cognitive folder full of past examples so that I can build a case that supports my belief….” = my epiphany. What I do.
What’s most shocking (now embarrassing) is how much satisfaction there has been for me within the pattern – as if the contraction, the protection, soothes me.
I thought it was okay, maybe normal, for me to be that way.
And maybe it is a normal way to engage because:
‘What I do’.
Let that sink in a bit…
(at least we are not alone!!)
The ripple effect of my belief-pattern is astonishing, damaging, and downright stupid – it sets the stage for failed relationships that are not enjoyable along the way, and truly never having my emotional needs met, or meeting those of another; not to mention, contraction is really hard on my body – I feel the strain of it throughout my body tissues, organs, nervous system, and cells. Literally.
Being with the clarity and recognition I now have is such a gift.
But, this vulnerability (ultimately a state of expansion) felt very very uncomfortable at first – like I could not find myself in it. Who am I if I don’t contract especially when my feelings are hurt? That reaction is as natural as walking for me…
And more importantly
Who might I become if I’m constantly finding myself within a state of expansion? Who am I if I stop reverting to my old pattern and fully show up in the place that I actually am – expanded. Beyond an old belief pattern. Because in my mind that is where I am, but I’m still contracting… It’s the pattern, the body memory, the reaction that could use some attention.
Therefore my word/s for 2019 =
Or, I could say continue to nurture expansion because I have been intentionally expanding over the years but it was from a place of ‘something is wrong with me/I’m not good enough’. Never before has it been from a place of, ‘it feels really really good, in numerous ways, to expand’.
I notice that the more mature and wise parts of me step forward for the word nurture.
I thought that my word for the year would be practice.
But for the past few weeks I’ve noticed that the word practice calls to the parts of me that feel like something is wrong with me, like I’m just not good enough yet (I contract) and colluding with that part of me has no place here.
When I was 10 years old my piano teacher at the time fired me as her student because I was not practicing 30 minutes per day (?!) as she required – I’m certain that part of my hangup with the word practice stems from the shame I felt with that experience.
That said, to become efficient, effective, and good at anything requires practice.
So, I get the point – I just need different language around it. Words matter.
I’m moving into 2019 from the place in me that believes that in 1 year my old belief pattern will be completely shifted.
So far I’ve relied on workshops, mindfulness, and my in-the-moment practice of finding muscle tension, releasing it, and fully absorbing the pleasure of a (more) relaxed state.
This practice has changed my life.
That said – the deeper place of contraction around my heart – that barrier that I build anytime something goes differently than what I would prefer or my feelings get hurt, is what has kept me from fully inhabiting a Graceful existence.
With expansion the best parts of me are highlighted, and beyond that – it feels good!
I’ve got a treasure trove of tools at my service – Continuum Movement, nature indulgence, Feldenkrais lessons, stretching, meditation, mindfulness, gratitude practices, perspective awareness, inner listening, heart energy imminence, growing courage, massage, language & thought pattern re-framing, clear communication and clear boundaries (this one is important with expansion), foam rolling and fascia blasting, dancing, soaking in beauty, hugging, trees included, orgasms (yep, I said it..) laying on the earth, swimming …the list could continue. AND! Now that I don’t have a little one with me, all day, every day (full-time school is amazing!!), I actually have the ability to indulge in my treasure trove!
Time is a big deal.
If my body tissues are constantly being encouraged to expand, in general, it will be much easier to expand when I find myself in my head ruminating on how my emotional needs are not being met – because my body memory will be more experienced in expansion verses contraction. It will become natural and normal to expand. It feels impossible to stay pissed when my body is experiencing pleasure, release, and an opening.
The epitome of self-care and self-love.
Pride is a result of what is possible.
How much pleasure can I stand, how much pride might I feel? What will happen if I nurture expansion as a very dedicated practice or worship?
Well – I’m going to find out.
I would love to know your word for the year, if you have picked one, and your reason for choosing that word – I’d love to support your process in 2019.
Thank you for being here and learning about mine; I’d love your support too, it helps, so much. My purpose in writing to you monthly is to encourage us to thrive and enhance our quality of life so that we are not only a gift to ourselves but to all of those around us as well.
I coach myself and share my experiences along the way in hopes that you might find comfort in my vulnerabilities and also encouragement for unraveling what keeps us inhibited.
Because when we thrive we change the world for the better – by simply be-ing.
And in my experience that takes a hell-of-a-lot of support, encouragement, resources, and embodied examples. My aim is to be a source of these for you.
Happy New Year – may it be the best year yet!
I’ve noted my primary mentors many times, I can’t say enough about their work so I’ll just say this:
Don and Diane St. John have saved me from ruining my marriage and have safely held me while encouraging me to see myself, all parts of me, and grow into my potential and life’s possibilities. Since they entered my life my reality just keeps getting better and better.
Erin Geesaman Rabke has taught me how to beautify my life and soak up pleasure. Her work is rooted in “less effort, more pleasure”.
All have taught me how to navigate disappointment, grief, and despair as well.
The combo of their work has taught, supported, and nurtured me in my journey that would have been impossible without them. They have a lot of experience, tons of resources, and they themselves practice what they preach. They are exceptional examples of what is possible in this life and relationships.
Erin has ongoing workshops in person and online, and also works one-on-one. Don and Diane offer 1 or 2 workshops per year and also see private clients. You can find more about what they offer by visiting their websites (linked above) and I highly recommend signing onto their newsletters, at very least.
Finally – I’d like to declare that YOU are your primary resource, mentor, and champion.
Get curious about what keeps you from living the life that you want to live and be honest, vulnerable, courageous, accountable, responsible and devoted within that exploration.
Shed the layers of old stories that no longer hold truth.
Open to your potential, and blaze your path.
And remember – there is a ton of unconditional support around us – the Universe collaborates with us wherever we are in our journey – and the earth sustains us; we are already worthy to receive this support, we need only to expand into it.