embodying my AMAZING

Three_TouchingOrder

Yesterday evening I fulfilled a challenge my healer put to me several months ago. I stepped out from behind the security of my computer screen and backspace key. I opened my treatment room door and moved out into the bigness of my entire studio space and stepped in front of a group of people to talk, out loud, using my voice. (the one that makes noise).

This is a big deal. It’s a big deal because I’ve spent my entire life afraid to use my voice in front of other people. I was the little girl who hid behind her mother’s skirt. (i have actual memories of doing so). I spent my entire sixteen years of schooling being called Amanda by my teachers and friends at school, because I didn’t even think to open my mouth and let everyone know that my name was Mandy. Graduating from college and no longer having my name being told to someone by a sheet of paper that proceeded me was a massive liberation. Moving into my adult life without a dual identity was thrilling. I was finally Mandy to everyone.

Step number one towards fully inhabiting my power:  acquire singular identity. Check.

When my healer issued the public speaking challenge I came to him with a fairly large knot of fear in my belly– and a terror of moving into the fear. He had me put my feet on the ground, bring my hands to my solar plexus and breathe into the space that felt tangled and knotted with terror. I sat on his couch, closed my eyes and allowed myself to settle into my body. I felt immediately, though I was scared to articulate it, that the fear that was haunting me– the gnawing knot eating away at my insides, was a fear of my own power. I told him that. He asked me what I thought would happen if I let myself inhabit my power, let my power inhabit me. I connected to the feeling of me allowing myself my bigness, and started laughing and crying as the words “I think it would be amazing” tumbled out of my mouth.

“Okay, so fear of being amazing.” He wrote it down.

I laughed. He smiled.

Sometimes the absurdity of our fears keeps us from acknowledging them. When I really allowed myself to connect to my fear, when I listened to it and gave it breath and light– I realized that it was the fear of a little girl whose preschool teacher asked her mother if she spoke. It was the fear of a child who understood that although she was small, there was something big and important inside of her, begging to be given a voice.

Step two towards fully inhabiting my power: Shine a bright light on my fear. Check.

Leaving my healer after that session I felt an immense weight had been lifted. Through the course of the session the terror I initially felt transformed to excitement. I left with the feeling of “what am I going to say FIRST?” I continued to engage in my process, began laying the groundwork for my public speaking debut– but then fell away from it. I wrote copious amounts but published very little. There was something missing. Something that kept me from moving forward.

Enter: The Cleanse.

I heard about it through a friend and immediately felt drawn to it. I did some research on it and decided that I was going to do it after completing a trip to visit my family on the east coast, when my kids were out of town. I moved through the cleanse and had what I would consider to be the most profound healing experience of my life to date. It brought me back to myself– and allowed me access to myself in a way that I’ve never had before. It cracked me open and poured me out– not letting me ignore or deny all my squishy insides. It forced communication, made me deal with my emotions, and biggest of all– it allowed me my VOICE.

It quite literally forced me to acknowledge my power. It took away my mother’s skirt, pushed me out from behind my keyboard, and whooshed my treatment room door WIDE OPEN. The nourishment that it provided my body made me unable to distract myself from myself. My physical structure was fully supported and operating more efficiently than it ever had before. I was unable to push down my feelings– unable to swallow my voice. It transformed the way I inhabited time– making days feel amazingly endless and full of possibility. It allowed me to be productive and unafraid of my forward momentum. And it immediately made me want to TALK about it.

The cleanse gave my voice a platform. It created a context for me to begin to speak. It immediately presented itself as an immense healing tool that I wanted to use to help others move forward along their own paths. It forced me to harness my creative energy towards creating a structure to facilitate transformation.

It has taken a lifetime to get to where I am right now– and I don’t know how many more steps there are in this journey– but I feel confident in taking them. I feel nourished. I feel present. I feel supported. I feel heard. I feel powerful.  And I feel AMAZING. And that’s really all this little girl could possibly ask for.

Step three towards fully inhabiting my own power: Acknowledge my voice and let it be heard. Check.

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the art of nourishment

I’m on day six of a ten day cleanse. And I’m hungry.

My diet for the last six days has consisted of green smoothies, copious amounts of water, amino acid supplements, a lot of avocados, a few apples, coconut water and herbal tea. And as I may have already mentioned, I’m hungry.

I decided to do this cleanse because I’d heard amazing things about it from a friend, and frankly because I felt like I needed it. My eating habits have been sliding down a slippery slope for the last couple of months– too much processed food, and not enough consciousness about what I’ve been putting into my body. I’ve started to feel disconnected from the instrument that orchestrates my life. So I’m cleansing. Hallueluiah.

There are people out there (you may know some of them personally) who I’m going to call “Zen Cleansers.” They write beautiful, uplifting messages on social media about the amazing benefits of the cleanse that they’re doing– how fabulous they feel, how bright their skin is, how they got to day ten and decided to just keep going, how they’ve hardly even been hungry…

I am NOT a Zen Cleanser. I am a HANGRY Cleanser. I am not going to sugar coat what this experience is for me. And that is not to say that it doesn’t have immense value. Because it does. It is working on me, or rather forcing me to work on me at a level that I was not capable of accessing when my body was satiated and groggy from my overloaded, overworked digestive system.

It has brought all of my inner most emotions and placed them right at my surface. I am like a smoking volcano, poised for eruption at any moment. My emotions are volatile. I’m incredibly reactive and I’ve cried more in the last six days than I had in the previous six months. But there is immense value in it.

I feel old patterns of relating to the world coming up to the surface and releasing. It’s as if I’m experiencing in extreme fast forward the last thirty eight years of my life and with each experience of an old emotional pattern, I feel it, identify it (“wow, that feels just like when I was fifteen”) and then I let it go. I am finding myself needing to navigate my emotions and find productive ways to communicate about them– because my body will not allow me to suppress them. (And I was wholly unaware of my emotional suppression before the blessing of this cleanse.)

I also find that my work, while certainly more taxing due to lack of calories, has felt incredibly clear and easy over the past six days. Information has flowed easily. I’ve had precise clarity in knowing how to approach and help to shift energetic patterns within my clients. I’ve also felt more present in each session, and the work we’ve done has been incredibly potent as a result.

What I find myself ruminating over as my belly continuously sends me hunger signals even though it has all of the nutrients it needs, are all the different ways that I am able to nourish myself. I realize that over the last several months in addition to not nourishing my physical body, I have also not been nourishing myself emotionally or energetically. I’ve neglected my writing. I’ve been spending way too much mindless time, watching t.v. or engaged in social media, which leaves me feeling disconnected and numb. One thing my hungry belly is not allowing me right now is to be numb or disconnected.

Last night after my partner beautifully ushered me through emotional breakdown number 47, we went out with friends and heard two amazing bands. Although my belly felt empty, as I listened to the brilliant musicians on stage and felt the joy of all of the people surrounding me, I closed my eyes, allowed my body to move to the music, and for the first time in a LONG time: I felt completely FULL.

I felt nourished.

What I’m beginning to realize is that nourishment comes from being conscious in all aspects of my life. I am able to nourish myself in so many ways beyond making my belly feel sated. I am nourished by allowing myself to feel and express my emotions– positive or negative. I am nourished by doing my work in the world and experiencing the magnitude of the amazing people who allow me to help them. I am nourished by maintaining my space, and reminding myself that it is an extension of myself. I am nourished by sharing time and laughter with the people I love. I am nourished by singing and dancing and writing. I am nourished by putting my needs at the top of my list instead of haphazardly scrawled somewhere near the bottom.

So while I may not offer a glamorous view of cleansing, this self-proclaimed HANGRY Cleanser can honestly say that despite my hunger, I am loads lighter and more nourished today than I was on day one– and I’ve still got four more days to go…

my second wind

I’ve been feeling a little beat up lately. Like the universe is having its way with me– kicking me while I’m down, so to speak, repetitively. In the head. (or some other vital area). Everywhere I turn it feels as though I’m being asked to put up my dukes. It brought me to my breaking point this afternoon. I took a trip downtown with my daughter in hopes of getting insight into a problem with my phone which is mysteriously not receiving a signal. After finding out it has “liquid damage” and erasing everything on the phone, I remembered the meter that i fed for 1/2 an hour– not anticipating the hour and a half of fun awaiting me at the genius bar.

My daughter and I ran to the car– only to find that it wasn’t where we both swore it was. (She’s clearly picking up on my compromised signals.) We were both baffled for a few minutes, walking around blocks where i knew we wouldn’t find it. (An experience I have NEVER had before “you always know where your car is parked,” was her comment to me.) We doubled back and I regained my senses, and find it we did– with not one, but two little yellow envelopes tucked under the windshield wiper. In the first, a ticket for $39 for exceeding my allotted meter time. And in the second, one for $140 for having an expired registration. (Something I was entirely unaware of and I thought for sure the DMV was supposed to notify me about).

It’s been a long time since I’ve gotten a ticket of any kind. It brings up a strange feeling of helplessness in me– and was definitely the icing on top of the “kick me while I’m down” cake. We drove home. I got to the door and started unlocking it and felt like I was going to crumple. She asked me if I was okay, I told her I was just having a hard time– and she told me “It’s okay to cry, that’s what you always tell me.”

I went out into the backyard and had a little “what in the hell is going on, universe?’ moment. And then the universe said to me with absolute clarity, and lacking any sympathy: “had enough yet? Do you remember who you are? Are you done or are you going to get up now?”

I began crying and said “thank you. Yes. I do remember. I am a fighter, and you can kick me as hard as you want– I’ve got plenty of fight left in me.”

And apparently I needed to be reminded of that. I’ve become complacent lately. I’ve forgotten who I am and what my abilities are. I’ve stopped trusting myself. I’ve allowed myself to be overcome with fear and worry. I’ve let doubt cast a shadow where only light should be shining. I’ve been walking down a long, dark hallway, nearly paralyzed with fear at the magnitude of the growth and expansion that is waiting to pounce on me. Not realizing that, since I already know it’s there, I’ve got the upper hand and have completely negated its element of surprise.

What I’m in need of at the moment is a serious dose of my own medicine. As healers, it can be hard to remember that we need to take our own medicine too. It is of utmost importance. If i were lying on my table, I would remind myself that fear is only powerful when we push it down and deny its existence. That it’s a natural part of being a human being, it’s perfect, and that at the root of my fear is powerful medicine, useful insight. I need to turn on a bright, shiny light in that hallway– and walk down it like I own it (because I do). Because I am powerful beyond imagination. And it’s okay to be scared of that. Inhabiting my power, allowing my power to inhabit me, it’s terrifying. But when has a little bit of terror ever stopped me before?

It hasn’t. Because I’m a fighter. And I am in charge of what happens to me.

See that universe? I do remember. I may be down, but I’m far from out. And as a matter of fact, I’m just getting my second wind. And I’m definitely beginning to inhabit my power– so you might want to take a few steps back– because I don’t think anybody knows what’s going to happen next. I certainly don’t– but I can promise you it’s going to be BIG.