How do we repair the hurts we’ve carried in our bones through most of our lives? I believe we start with our breath – practiced and intentional breathing; breath focused meditations; setting an alarm randomly through out the day to remind us to take a deep inhale and forced exhale.
As we connect with our breath, we connect with our body. And with practice we can expand our practice to connect more deeply with our body and the stories and wisdom that live within.
We heal by connecting to our body, our mind and our spirit. And this healing always starts with our breath.
I invite you to a little breath practice of counting exhales:: randomly throughout your day, focus in on your breath and count your exhales in sets of 10. Notice how it feels to exhale. Notice how complete your exhales are. Notice how you feel before you count and after.
If you would like to connect more deeply with your body, to explore your stories of too much and not enough and fight yow own Shame Beasts, I invite you to join us in Exploring Our Shadows. We begin to gather on May 1. More details and registration information can be found right here.
We write our own stories.
Yes, we are given lines and plots by our family, our culture, our lived experience.
And yet, these are only plot turns, they are the points in which we, the main character, the heroine, get to decide how we are going to be. We don’t have control over our genetics or how people treat us or life events like earthquakes or rapes or being burglarized.
We do have control over how we respond to each of these events. Yes, we may have the after effects of trauma or shock living within us. AND we have the choice to heal those pains, to become present again, to engage in our lives instead of allowing our reptile brain to take over.
We have control over whether or not we remain stuck in anger or bitterness or hurt. This is not to say we don’t feel those things, rather we allow them to be fluid, to process and pass through and allow the next emotion to come.
With practice and intention, love and compassion will enter into your heart and being. And you will not remain in this place forever either, because again life will happen. And perhaps when life happens again you will come out of it differently, perhaps the anger or bitterness or hurt will pass more quickly.
Regardless, you have the right to write your own story; you have the privilege to be the person you chose to be; and you have the responsibility to take these rights and privileges seriously, to be present for your one lived life, to write your own story and not let others write it for you.
Want to read more? Sign up for my weekly love letter. xoxo
Last week I guided over a hundred women in exploring our power and strength, connecting to our bodies, excavating our stories and digging into who we truly are. It was an intense week and fast paced and rich with ways to dive into our depths. And even with this being true, I have been left feeling like we barely skimmed the surface of this work, that we barely dipped our toes is. That there is so much richness in this work of power and strength for us all to uncover, to become curious about.
During our week we touched on the stories of our mothers. We spent one day of thinking about and connecting to what our mothers brought to us. That day is still lingering within me, simmering. This digging into their stories reminds me again how the more we each know of our own history the more we can make sense of our Self. We can’t ignore the past. The women and men who came before us made us, both metaphorically and literally. Pretending that what they lived has no impact on us only puts up another block for us to overcome to get to our own core and true, whole Self.
Sometimes though we don’t have a way to learn the stories; the people who held them had died or we aren’t in contact or they simply don’t want to share them. And it feels like then the stories are lost, and a part of our Self is lost with them. How can we know the experience of our great-great-great-great-grandmother? How can we know how her children felt? How she felt about motherhood? What her internal struggles were with loving and being loved?
We can begin with our own stories. The ones that live in our heads, real and imagined. We can begin with our own struggles and how motherhood affects us or our relationship with our own mother. We can begin with how we embrace or avoid loving and being loved.
Because all those stories that we have, they didn’t start with us. Our struggles with living and loving and being didn’t begin with our birth. They all began a long time ago, with women we never met and yet are as much a part of us as we are part of our children. We are made of their DNA and with that comes the stories and struggles and sadness and joy of their lived experiences.
So we begin understanding our ancestral stories by beginning to understand our own. By acknowledging the stories we hold. By exploring all those shoulds and have-tos and fears. By examining our daily struggles and getting curious about them. By knowing that we are not the first or the last in our line to experience life as we do, our trials and strife are our threads to our past, to understanding, to embracing our own embodied knowing.
We may never know the specific literal details of the lives of the women who came before us. And we can imagine their internal experiences, the stories that swirled within them, by understanding our own internal stories.
How will you connect with your stories? With the gifts and non-gifts the women before you handed down? Are you ready to dig into who you are, what you are made of, literally and figuratively? Are you ready to grow your mermaid tail and dive to your own depths?
Did you enjoy this? Then I invite you to subscribe to my weekly love letter, right here.
It’s Halloween morning. As I sit down to write this, the rest of the family is still in bed, sleeping peacefully. My coffee has brewed and I have finished my first cup, along with a couple of peanut-butter Snickers (oh so good!). The wind is blowing like mad and the rain is coming down in ways it doesn’t usually here in Seattle: hard, heavy, filled with sadness and melancholy and grief.
We have been talking about the Mother-Wound in the (Un)Becoming circle, and the grief work that is involved in this healing. The grief of not having the mother we wanted or deserved. The grief of our mothers not having the mother they wanted or deserved. The grief of our grandmothers and our daughters. We have been talking of healing and empathy and finding ways to repair our Self.
It is heavy work. I feel the weight of the grief of the circle as surely as I feel my own. My grief of not having the mother I needed or deserved as a young child. The grief of just when our relationship was becoming what I had always dreamed of, she died. The grief of not always being able to be the mother my daughter (or son) need and deserve. The grief of being human and therefor flawed, imperfect.
In this healing, we learn that our flaws are yes, what make us human, but they do not make us unworthy. They do not make us undeserving of love or nurturing. They do not make us tainted or valueless.
These flaws simply make us human. Just like our mothers, and grandmothers, and sisters and best friends. Just like our husbands and bosses and teachers. Just like our children. We each do things we may not be proud of at times. We each have the capacity for cruelty, even when not intentional. And we each have the capacity for deep love and vulnerability.
I told the circle in my video this week that sometimes I think our fear of love is what makes us do crazy things. It was in reference to the truth that our mothers have to had, or have to currently, love us with the same fire we love our own children, they simply may not be able to show it in healthy ways, in ways we can feel it. I shared a bit of my experience as a mother when my daughter was very young, and the absolute terror I felt at the love I felt for her. My love for her, and hers for me, terrified me to my core. It was too raw, too pure, too unconditional. I was unable to feel or process this love and so in my own ways I distanced myself from her, from us.
Eventually I was able to come back, do the work I needed so that I could be closer to the mother she needed, the mother I needed and wanted to be. This is a slow and ever evolving process. I have my own wounds to heal, as each of us do, and I know she will have hers to heal one day too.
We each have days of not being the people we hope to be, for ourselves or for our children. We each have times of too much yelling, too much distancing. The vulnerability of the love we feel for our children, and they for us, can be overwhelming even in the best of times. And so we screw up and we come back and repair as best we can and we move on to the next moment and the next and sooner or later we will screw up again and come back and repair again. It is the truth of our human experience. It is what makes us human. It is also what makes us divine, sacred, holy and yes, magical.
In the repair is where our magic lies, where the holy lives. When we are able to come back to another we have knowingly hurt and say “I am sorry. I will try to do better next time” — that is where the sacred comes through. When we are able to admit our own humanity, and show others that it is okay to be human, this is when the Divine flows through us and into the world.
When we are able to not only repair with our children, spouses, and friends, but can also come to our Self and say “I’m sorry, I will do better next time” that is healing. When we can look to our own mothers and grandmothers and on down the line and recognize they were only doing the best they could with what they had — not excusing their behaviors, not saying it didn’t or doesn’t hurt— simply acknowledging their experience, the wounds are able to be cleaned. In this acknowledging the humanity of others around us, in finding our empathy for them and their experience, we start to have empathy for ourselves. We can start to see how while we are flawed, we are worthy of love, of nurturing, of respect.
And here’s where the magic comes in: We start to love, nurture and respect our Self. We start to do the little things each day that allow us to show our Self that we love her. We start to breathe a bit easier. We start to feel the ground beneath us. We start to sense the sacred, holy and Divine within us. This is self-love. This is healing. This is magic.
Want to read more? Sign up for my weekly love letter, right here. xoxo