What Makes Us Scary to The Night?


What She is Made Of – my first real attempt at mixed media

I had only just turned 17. It was February, give or take, and I was several months pregnant, which may account for my slightly crazy act of heroism (protective instinct and all).

My mom and I were driving home after dark, and as she turned the corner of our street I saw the violence taking place. I remember shooting upright in the passengers seat, twisting to watch as we drove to our home about 7 houses away.

There was a fire in me that I couldn’t stop, that I’m not even sure my mom could stop (or maybe I just couldn’t hear her try).

As soon as our car stopped in the drive, my door was open and I was running toward them.

Two young men, scary looking men – the kind you’d imagine in a gang or in a dark alley somewhere – were smashing another man’s head into a rock on the lawn of the corner lot.

And none of that registered as something to avoid. I wasn’t scared of those men. I wasn’t scared of the blood. I wasn’t scared of being hurt, even newly pregnant.

I was just running at them, shouting at them, with no thought in my mind of what I’d do when I got to them, but no way my feet would carry me any other way. I remember looking back at my mom, standing and watching me (did she call my name? is that why I had turned back?). I remember knowing this was my role that night, and maybe even thinking she knew that too.

The men heard me, saw me running toward them and placed one finally blow to the man on the lawn (which pissed me off and shot me forward faster) before finally taking off.

I don’t remember much of what came after, although I know I yelled for a woman in a window to call the police, angry that she hadn’t come outside with a bat long before this moment. I know I stayed by his side, surveying his wounds, touching his arm, afraid to move him and talking to him until the paramedics arrived.

But mostly I remember the look in his bloodshot, slightly unfocused eyes. I remember seeing something in them, like recognition or surprise – perhaps at exactly who had chased off his assailants, a tiny young girl without fear. I think he said something to me, but I can’t remember what it was. I can’t remember my words to him either.

I think back on that night from time to time and wonder at my fearless self.

How a young pregnant girl could set about to save a man she didn’t know without hesitation or alarm, as if it were the most expected thing for her to do.

I’ve never found myself in a situation quite so big, but yet I’ve found myself overtaken by fear again and again. Freezing in the terror of some near disaster, overcome by the thoughts of rejection or looking stupid at some choice.

And I have to wonder what happened to that girl, the one willing to chase off the villain with nothing but the fire in her belly.

Was it only the hormones moving me, or was it bigger than that?

What makes a woman bold and certain in one moment, and timid and shrinking away the next?

I suppose the same thing that makes the hoodlum run from you in the dark of the night, instead of turn and fight you too: your own wild fight within you. The light you carry with you when you move from your Truth.

That’s some scary shit to those who shirk in the shadows.

There have been times since that night when I need of remind myself of that young girl. Times when I lose myself and question my place in this world. Times like we all experience with the natural ebb and flow, in and out of our own Self.

I remind myself of her matter-of-factness.
Her conviction.
The way her feet pounded against the pavement.
The way her voice boomed through the night.
The way her fire propelled her.

When I question my path, I remember her and the knowing she had of exactly what she was meant to do without the voice of doubt nipping at her heels. When I question my ability, I remember her and how she found exactly what she needed the moment she allowed herself to shut out the fear and listen to only what was being asked of her.

When I question the power of a single choice…well, I remember him. The way his eyes came into focus on my eyes, the way his body felt against my own.

Sometimes the impact we have on another is palpable, obvious, immediate…

And that makes our choices simpler (although maybe not always as unflinching).

And sometimes we don’t get to hold the hands of the people whose lives we just changed, don’t get to look into the eyes of those whose lives we may have just saved.

Sometimes there isn’t a fire that blazes up within us, compelling us to run with fury and instinct, to protect or roar, or fight if it comes down to it.

But that doesn’t mean that wild woman isn’t within us all the same.

And that’s what I remind myself the most: what I can do when I give no thought to anything but what I can do.

That this is Who I Am when I allow myself to blaze: burning and growling and damn scary to the night.

I Say Ego, But I Really Mean Fear

I sometimes throw around the word Ego. But I’m really not fond of the common definition or the connotation.

This is a throwback to my upbringing, to being raised in a belief that there is some inherently bad or broken part of us that, as humans, we must fight against (fight against it in ourselves and fight against it in others, namely in our children).

I don’t believe this.

At all.

I do not believe there is a soul on this planet who is naturally bad, born terrible, or inherently evil.

There are people who do some terrible, diabolical, tragic things. But I hesitate to even use the word “evil” to describe them, as this just seems to me a cop-out, as if I can all easily explain away such behaviors with a sweep of the hand, brushing off the deeper cause and responsibility we all have (to one another) by labeling someone as “just the way they are”.

That’s what “Ego” in the common spiritual sense of the word conveys to me. A generalization. A simplified reason for why we are the way we are, or why we do the things we do.

It’s not everyone’s connotation or intention, certainly not, but it is what comes up for me based on my own stories.

And yet, I find myself using the word myself.

But I use it in a different way.

Because what others see as “ego”, as this need to war with themselves, to take blame (not to be confused with responsibility), a reason they must work hard to change…

I just see fear. A need for understanding of ourselves, of our vulnerability that causes us to lash out in a broken attempt to protect ourselves (or others). A need for compassion for ourselves as we make mistakes, act imperfect – an important experience to our ability to learn.

What gets called “Ego” always boils down to fear.

We insist on our rightness, because we’re afraid of being wrong. We fight with our children, because we’re afraid of being judged or seeing them hurt or messing things up. We put on our big talk and incessantly point out our goodness, because we’re terrified we’re actually not good enough. We lack trust – for ourselves, for others, for the process of Life – because we’re afraid of what will happen if we’re not micro-managing every nuance of our lives.

This isn’t “Ego”, some sneaking demon hidden in our hearts hellbent on destroying us.

This is vulnerability, imperfection, challenges, spiritual growth and the fear it brings up in us, what we’re afraid it means or says.

And we’ve learned that it must say something (about us, about others, about Life) based on the lessons we’ve absorbed, what we interrupted )based on what Life has shown us) about how we “should” be, all of which has been created based on the belief that what we actually are is inherently bad, evil, not good enough. And so we’ve learned we must fight to prove we’re otherwise (or prove them right, which is a topic for another day).

What if it were another way?

What if, instead of believing we are bad and seeing our badness and going to war with our badness, we all believed we were inherently whole and wonderful and worthy and good. And that even when we make mistakes, we see those mistakes as whole and wonderful and good in their ability to teach us and then show us how to recognize and amplify and make greater our whole, wonderful, goodness?

Doesn’t it stand to reason that if we believed we are whole, wonderful, and inherently worthy people who are capable of making mistakes (mistakes that don’t change Who We Are), we would then see our wholeness and our wonder and our worthiness and our goodness, instead of how terrible we all are? That we would see it in others too?

And then what would there be to fear or fight against?

Wouldn’t there only be the embracing of Life and learning and support for our real (whole, wonderful, good) selves and one another, even when we’re perfectly imperfect?

This is what I believe and experience.

When I see myself or someone else as inherently wrong, or inherently unworthy of trust until I or she or he proves otherwise, or inherently selfish until I (my fear, my Ego, my Ego-fear) changes that person or myself, I create disharmony and war and more fear. I pass it down like an old quilt, handed from one fearful generation to the next, tattered and torn and anything but warm and comfortable, but still insisting it be used because that’s the truth of it: “life is cold and drafty and we’re inherently tattered, after all”.

But when I find myself seeking the worthiness and goodness within a person’s soul, when I look beneath their tragic attempts to protect themselves or be seen or heard, when I go beyond the way in which I say they “should” be, I find myself with compassion for that person, with patience for that child, with understanding for where they are and how they came to be there.

And with that perspective firmly in my vision, what I see changes. And I and others change, based on what is seen in us.

We realize we are not our Ego (our fear, our big ugly mistakes). We realize we are human and having an experience of fear, an experience of making mistakes or painful choices. An experience of fear.

Just an experience of fear.

Not a being-ness of Ego to despise.

And then the pressure is released and the burden that was crushing our spirits is lifted and there is sudden lightness and energy and the ability to actually move, this time in a new and healthier and more whole direction.

When I call it your or my Ego, we have something new to war against, something we must fight or resist – either ourselves or each other.

Fighting and resisting is the antithesis of peace.

When I release the idea of right versus wrong and just focus on love versus fear (with love and compassion FOR the fear), peace comes inherent instead.

(Want to DIG IN to your own Ego-fear? That’s what this process is for.)

Organic Wisdom :: The Result of Your Experiences

Every Friday I try to share some of the quotes I post on Twitter and Facebook, with some of my expanded thoughts and feelings on it here.

“Organic Wisdom” is what I have found speaking to me in those quiet moments, that guides me and that echoes Truth in my life. Please feel free to download, or share this image in any way you’d like.

I think we (myself included) give too much credit to our experiences, saying that they are what made us who we are today.

Likewise we can give too much blame as well, insisting that they are the cause of our suffering.

But we are not the result of what happened to us.

We are the result of what we choose to do with it.

Painful, heartbreaking and horrific things have happened in my life: abuse, assault, loss, depression.

I’m not being contrite when I say I am am thankful for each and every one, even though I have no desire to experience it again nor would I wish it on anyone.

But as painful as those events are, they did not happen to me.

They happened for me.

And more importantly, I happened to them.

From those events I learned how to suffer and how to overcome suffering. I learned that I could allow things to tear me down or I could choose for them to build me up.

There is a difference in what happens to us and what happens for us: One creates victims. The other creates survivors.

Kick-ass survivors. Men and women who are ablaze with wisdom, strength, confidence and the desire to transform violence into love. Men and women who experienced something that will embolden them to change the world.

You are NOT the result of what has or will occur in your life, of the pain you are or have experienced, of the mistakes you did or will make.

You are the result of what you choose to do next.

Organic Wisdom :: When Fear Is The Cause…

Every Friday I try to share some of the quotes I post on Twitter and Facebook, with some of my expanded thoughts and feelings on it here.

“Organic Wisdom” is what I have found speaking to me in those quiet moments, that guides me and that echoes Truth in my life. Please feel free to download, or share this image in any way you’d like.

When we fear our children’s behaviors, we act out of control and our compassion, patience and relationship suffers.

When we fear others will hurt us, we throw our barriers up and our ability to trust ourselves and others suffers.

When we fear our lover will leave, we act out of neediness and our love suffers.

When we fear there won’t be enough for us, we act out of greed and our gratitude and generosity suffers.

When we fear we will fail, we hold ourselves back and our dreams suffer.

When we fear what others think, we act inauthentically and our spirits suffer.

The solution? Lean into love.

Part Three: On the Experience of Shaving My Head and Being Free (Before, During and After Photos and Video!)

I’ve sat here looking at a blank screen grasping at inadequate words to describe the shaving of my head for way too long.

Incredible? Weak.

Empowering? Still weak.

Enlightening? Closer.

Let me start by backing up a little to the beginning of my weekend. We’ll see where it goes from there.

The Start of One Incredible, Life-Changing Weekend

Tiffani, my badass freeplaylife photographer, arrived in Orlando on Friday evening.

Now let me just say something about Tiffani.

She’s flipping amazing. Colorful. Playful. Daring. Vibrant. Envelope-pushing.

But she also has this deeply sensitive side that you only get to see in her photos or videos or in long conversations about Life.

So I knew she was the perfect person to help me commemorate this powerful step. Because she totally “got it”. ♥

We had an amazing weekend that I know I’ll be talking more about later.

But the photos!

Oh wow, the photos.

We started with the before photos (for obvious reasons) and let me just say, one amazing photographer can make you fall in love with yourself.

She captured so much more than either of us felt was possible to convey without being there.

Because, oh being there was amazing!

We laughed, drank wine, ate and talked, shared epiphanies and dreams and laughed some more. I love that woman so much. Yes, I’ll definitely be writing more about that soon.

But back to the experience…

Capturing the “Before”

I wanted to capture it. My dreads. What they meant. I wasn’t sure if it would be possible but if anyone could do it, I knew it would be Tiffani.

And she did.

And I love them, each and every one of the “Before” shots. They so perfectly capture the depth and love I’ve had for my dreads. They leave me breathless. Speechless. In awe and honor of my own spiritual path, of where I’ve been and Who I Am because of them.

I’ll let my favorites do the talking…

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I looked at them on her camera between Day One of photos and Day Two. And I had an ache. I saw the beauty and the story Tiffani had caught for me. And for the span of one deep breath, I loved them so much I couldn’t fathom letting them go.

But then that breath passed and I felt my whole body, my whole spirit say “Trust”. Mmm, yes I can do trust.

The During and After Experience

As much as the before photos LOOK amazing, it was (and is) the during and after process of shaving off my dreads that FEEL amazing.

And that feeling of “amazing” was something that the camera couldn’t capture.

The way it FELT to have my husband there, the man who spent 14 loving hours putting my dreadlocks in, handing me the empowerment, the strength to take this next step – on my own this time.

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The way it FELT to acknowledge my fear as it turned my hands cold and made my heart pound and asked me to pause, to breath, to give it a just a moment to be heard so that it could willingly let go.

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The way it FELT to call forward the faces of the beautiful women, my many sisters, who had emailed or texted or messaged me their love, to feel them circling around me.

And then the way it FELT to remove my dreads, one-by-one, to feel the world shift beneath me, while also shifting me forward, the rushing in of exhilaration, and of an emotion I still do not have a name for.

I’ve said it so many times but it bears repeating again: It was as if my dreads had, over the last 43 months (to the day, I just realized), systematically entangled all the energy of my past, the fears and challenges and limitations and all those things that were not serving me.

And towards the end of my three and a half year journey with dreadlocks, it was “heavy” with the past and the stories that were ready to be let go.

And so, with all the yuck carefully secured in my dreads, I began to snip it all away.

The past that didn’t belong in my present, the heaviness…

The weight of the world fell off my shoulders.

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One at a time. Landing on the ground. With only a few feet between us but feeling as though it was the length of the world now separating me from it.

Distant. Done.

Old and gone and unattached.

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And then the way it FELT to see “the past” lying on the ground, to hold it in my hands, to feel as though it was ancient history, detached from me, in my hands but with such distance between us – something to honor and smile upon or ponder about, but not something to ache for or regret or miss.

(To miss them would’ve felt awkward, like going backward, like losing wisdom, slipping into clothes that had once been comfortable but that I had outgrown. It would’ve felt silly trying to wear the things of my past, like a grown women trying on her favorite childhood shirt. It was and is and always will be beloved, but it’s not comfortable anymore.)

I felt LIGHT…not weight-light, but energy-light.

I text my mom an After photo and she said it perfectly in just a few words:

You look beautiful. And FREE!!!

Free.

Yes, that’s what this feeling is.

It’s the feeling of being free. Open. Unencumbered. Spiritually cleansed.

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A lot of people (my step-dad included) don’t get it. How was I not free before?

But I AM FREE now. I recognize the difference, in the way only a previously and ignorantly unfree person could recognize. I’m suddenly free of the past. I’m free of the expectations I’ve accepted in my life (from myself and others). I’m free of the facade, the props I would use to convey Who I Am.

I’m free of the NEED I had to convey Who I Am.

I am free.

I never expected to feel as free and as feminine and as sexy in my own skin as I do right now with no hair. I’m walking on clouds, in love with my raw self. Feeling as though I’ve settled into Who I am, dropping into my own essence, JUST my essence. Nothing trailing along behind me.

Calm and simple and joyful authenticity.

I can’t stop rubbing my head or reveling in that menthol-cool feeling of the air across my scalp or the warmth of the sun or swimming in the pool, holding my breath beneath the water, feeling the sensations moving around me, no more worry about “getting my hair wet”, nothing taking me out of the moment, out of the experience it.

Present-moment awareness. How does having no hair offer me that?

I don’t know but there it is.

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The whole experience. Commemorating my dreadlocks. Preparing to send them off with love. Those two minutes of fear, where my hands went cold and shaky and I wasn’t sure I had the courage to take my next step forward.

Then the instantaneous and immense feeling of YesYesYes! as I snipped the first dread and it fell to the ground, the feeling that propelled me forward like a mad-woman, feeling the heaviness lift from my spirit, feeling the open space begin to fill with excitement and LIGHTness as each knot of hair was shed.

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The JOY and smiles and that sense that my whole body was laughing that suddenly came rushing in, not from my mouth or my face or my words (I was pretty much beyond words), but from my belly, from my core. Bubbling up and spilling out of my eyes, my pores, my fingertips, the top of my head.

The way I suddenly felt lit up, nothing getting in the way of SHINING. Radiating. Reveling.

To feel so deeply connected to Who I Am, to the people in my life, to Spirit and Life itself…

It has been one of the most deeply spiritual (yet insanely, hysterically, joyful and downright silly) experiences of my thirty years.

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It’s sounds silly to many.

I even have to laugh at how silly it sounds to me.

It’s just hair after at all.

But it’s not about the hair.

It’s about the experience of the hair. MY experience.

It’s about what this small, seemingly meaningless experience (in the grand scheme of life) had to offer me.

And it’s about me accepting that offer.

It’s about being open to a grandiose, breathtaking and awe-inspiring overture in what looks inconsequential, impermanent, and trivial.

This is life.

Mundane. Simple. Momentary. The details small and ultimately insignificant. A blip on the screen of the Universe. A monotonously repetitive story throughout the span of the centuries.

But still never duplicated in the narrative. Consistently renewed in our emotions. And regularly, excruciatingly and inconceivably mind-blowing to participate in.

It’s all “just hair”. Until we embrace the experience of it. And then it’s the whole Universe bursting alive within the space of one fleeting moment.

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Click here for all the photos from our shoot.


More Dreaded Goodness

All dreadlock posts from start to finish are here.

Part One: My announcement video of my decision to shave my dreads

Part Two: A more in-depth, emotional and raw video on my decision

Part Three: Putting The Process of Shaving Them into Words (and lots of photos)

Part Four: A GORGEOUS Video and words from other women who’ve done the same

And lastly: Burning My Dreadlocks: The Final Goodbye

Why I Love Getting Older :: How Aging Became an Honor Instead of a Fear (Video)

Women, especially older women, always smirk a little when I tell them how much I look forward to aging.

I can’t wait to get my first grey hair (or find them under all these dreads), I love the lines I’m wearing on my face, and how I see aging as one of the most beautiful things in the world.

They assume it hasn’t “hit me yet”.

Oh but it has. The fear of aging hit me a few years ago. Hard.

And that’s when everything changed.

I explain it, passionately and emotionally I might add, in this video below…


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The Experience of Gratitude is Not a “Should”

Gratitude reminder from my Yogi tea

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and so many of us are turning our hearts toward big, beautiful meals and the idea of gratitude.

Gratitude was my main guiding word this year. So naturally I have lots of thoughts during my very favorite holiday.

I’ve never loved Thanksgiving for the gratitude part. I loved it for the simplicity, for its ability to not add so many layers of complexity to what I am really wanting to experience: deep connection with those I love, deep enjoyment I find myself most capable of within a slower pace in life, and deep nourishment – physically and spiritually.

But something about the idea of gratitude tended to rub me the wrong way.

And I didn’t understand it until this year, as I dove into this word, allowing it to guide me, to show me, to open me to what I longed to understand.

And this is what I understand.

I resisted not the practice of gratitude, but this ever pervasive idea or sense of obligation, guilt and shame I felt around the word.

“I should be grateful.”

“You should be grateful.”

And my heart would hear those words and want to yell “No!”

And now I know why. Why I resisted what seems so true.

Because every time we feel as though we “should be” grateful, we negate the pain or hurt or struggle that we are experiencing in that moment, instead of gratitude.

We tell our tears to stop. We tell ourselves to suck it up. That others have it worse. And so who the hell are we to ache, to hurt, to need to cry, or to desire change when we have it so good.

“It could be worse, so we should be grateful.”

And in thinking that “it could be worse”, we ignore what is yearning for attention right now.

Because if someone else has it worse, we don’t deserve to have it better.

Oh, and there is a time for that!

A time to recognize our blessings, to give thanks.

And there is also a time to acknowledge our own pain, to heal our own wounds, to protect our own hearts and understand that under our ache, our pain, our frustration, our complaints…under the surface of what we’re experiencing is something within us that deserves love, that deserves attention, that deserves validation, that deserves to have its deepest needs met.

Not because we’re more deserving, not because anyone else is less.

But because we all deserve to have our needs met.

All of them.

Because that’s what that pain, that lack of gratitude is…it’s just a sign to meet a deeper, fundamental and universal need.

If there is one thing I’ve learned this year, it’s this:

I went into this year assuming that I would simply focus on the act of gratitude.

And I did. And it was good.

But it didn’t last.

Because those aches would resurface and ask with longing for the attention they needed.

And that’s when I understood that I cannot make gratitude.

I cannot make myself grateful.

Gratitude is already  – and always – there.

I simply choose to experience it by first addressing all the aches, the longings, the unmet needs, the pain I am holding within my heart and that is standing between me and the experience of gratitude.

But when I simply lean into those aches for a moment, giving them the attention they are screaming for, encircling them with compassion, examining what they are and why, and bring Light and Love to them, they ease and vanish.

And as they do I experienced the rush of gratitude. 

The gratitude that was always there.

Waiting for its turn.

But patiently, knowing that something else needed to come first.

And then gratitude had its turn.

And it enveloped me.

And I held it.

And it changed my experience of life.

And it only recedes when something bigger needs to be held for a moment.

Gratitude was – and is – the natural consequence of healing my spirit, of peeling back the layers of my painful beliefs and fears, of coming into awareness of Who I Am, and what I’m here to do.

Without those fears, there is nothing but gratitude left TO experience.

And when I experience that gratitude, it gives me the ability to not just “suck it up”, to not feel awash in my guilt or shame, but to come alive, to feel vibrant, and THEN and only then do I find myself capable of offering what I am experiencing within me to those who have the same or deeper needs.

There is no “should”…this just simply is.

When I validate and give love to my lack of gratitude, I experience gratitude naturally and then I can actually create the same in the lives of others.

And that is one equation I am so incredibly grateful for.

Real Women and the Lies We Live (Video)

I almost didn’t share this video.

I had made it quickly because it started pouring out of me and my audio and video wouldn’t sync.

But that’s not why I almost didn’t share it.

I almost didn’t share it because my entire life I’ve been shamed for my body type, taught to feel less than other women or self-conscious or care too deeply about what others thought of my body.

Taught to be wary of going to the bathroom too soon after I ate because someone would derisively accuse me of being bulemic.

Taught to wear nothing above the knees out of fear that someone would comment on my thin legs.

So after this video came pouring out of me, I began to waver.

“Maybe I shouldn’t.”

“Maybe I’ll offend someone.”

“Who am I to talk about body image?”

It took a sweet woman speaking up a couple days ago on this very issue that reminded me that I’m accepting that Body Shame we’ve all been taught.

And you know what I say to shame?

Fuck that.

So here it is: My Truth on “real women” and the lives we are taught to believe and that we continue to live out, even when we think we’re not.

Or view it on YouTube.

Here’s to real women everywhere:

The ones who love with all their heart…

And look shame and fear in the face and give it the finger.

Who look in the mirror and stand in awe of the beauty that shines within them…

And takes that light into the world and lights up the darkness.

The women who sees beauty in all women, even the ones who are lost or in pain or are blind to beauty themselves.

The women hold hands not grudges.

Who can lift up another without feeling put down.

Who share Wisdom and Truth, instead of rumors and lies.

The women who can be vulnerable and strong at the same time.

And who fiercely protect that vulnerable strength in others.

We are all real women.

Regardless of size or shape or color or background or beliefs…

Regardless of whether we’re in touch with our own inner Self or not.

Regardless of whether we’re in our own power or in our own pain.

We’re all real women making our way through the same messy world, doing the best we can with the tools we have, learning and growing.

And when we see that, when we step into our own strength, and we empower others to step into theirs…

That’s when the world will change.

Thriving, Not Just Surviving Childhood

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Thriving, not just surviving.

Children’s talent to endure stems from their ignorance of alternatives. – Maya Angelou

How many times have you heard (or even said), “I survived [spankings/punishment/hard work/not getting attention] as a child. So will they.”?

Countless I’d bet.

It’s the common response anytime compassionate, mindful, organic parents talk about the alternatives they’ve found to control, coercion, and hurtfulness of children.

We all want the best for our children. Our ideas of how to provide that are obviously radically different than the mainstream.

But more than our ideas of how to provide the best for our kids, it seems like many parents have a deep resistance toward providing for our kids the things they didn’t have.

Oh not the “stuff”…lots of parents can easily provide more stuff than they had.

But so few are ready to provide in deeper ways.

So few are comfortable providing more love, more affection and attention, more respect, more honor, more dignity, more autonomy.

Is it because we simply don’t know how?

Or is it because to provide our kids with more of those things means first admit that we didn’t receive it ourselves?

It’s not an easy pill to swallow, that you may have been intentionally and unnecessarily hurt and lied to as a child. That your deeper human needs were not met. That you were made to feel as though your feelings, your ideas, your desires were less important than anyone else’s.

Shit. It’s downright unfair. After all, if we went through it, shouldn’t they have to?

Because “Dammit! It’s MY TURN to finally feel in control!”

“Oh please. I survived.”

Really?

And is that all you want for your child: Survival?

Or do they deserve to thrive?

I’m inclined to agree with Maya Angelou up there…just because we didn’t know there was an alternative doesn’t mean it was good for us, doesn’t mean it’s what’s best for our kids.

5 Things Your Fear of Change Really Means

We all have what we think are reasons to fear change. It’s annoying, overwhelming, frustrating, unnecessary, time-consuming, and so on.

But I’m going to challenge you to DIG deeper than the circumstance, deeper than your reactions to the circumstance.

I’m going to challenge you to DIG into the real reasons any of us are afraid of change, whether it’s frustration over Facebook changes or overwhelm over a change in career or fear of a change within ourselves or our lives.

Change.

Change via Zoe Pittman

(Heck, how many of you are afraid right now of changing your perspective on this topic? Maybe you’re feeling flustered or confused, tight in your stomach or shoulders, aggravated, offended or worried. That’s all about fear, baby.)

All human actions are motivated at their deepest level by two emotions–fear or love. In truth there are only two emotions–only two words in the language of the soul…. Fear wraps our bodies in clothing, love allows us to stand naked. Fear clings to and clutches all that we have, love gives all that we have away. Fear holds close, love holds dear. Fear grasps, love lets go. Fear rankles, love soothes. Fear attacks, love amends.
– Neale Donald Walsch

Change is the only constant in life right? So anytime we’re fighting with reality we get to ask ourselves some deeper questions. Like what am I really afraid of here?

What Your Fear of Change Really Means

Beneath the situation, the things you can see or describe, beneath your reactions….are the fears that are being triggered. Remember, no “thing” in life can rub a sore spot that doesn’t already exist inside us.

Which one of these is you?

  1. “Change makes me anxious.”

    A big, BIG reason we fear change is because we feel more comfortable where we are, rather than moving forward. But all of life moves forward and changes.And so if we’re afraid of doing what comes naturally and organic to our nature, it’s often because of fear that change is not safe. We know what things are now. We don’t know what lies ahead.

    And so it doesn’t matter if it’s a little change, like your favorite restaurant closing or a big change, like marriage, walking into the unknown rubs against a fear that we are inherently not safe.

    Ask yourself: Why do I feel unsafe?

  2. “Change frustrates or overwhelms me.”

    We’re human. We make mistakes. And we have weaknesses. But we’ve been taught from a very young age that this is a bad thing. So we begin to learn that we are not “good enough”…or some variation, such as smart enough, capable enough, strong enough.

    When changes rubs against this idea we’ve learned we say things like “I can’t possibly figure out all these new changes!” or “I can’t handle this in my life.” Change freaks us out because it threatens to expose our weaknesses and our vulnerabilities.

    Ask yourself: What makes me think I’m not enough?

  3. “It’s just too much.”

    Too much of one thing really means not enough of another. This other “not enough” is all about scarcity on a deep core level.

    I usually hear it in regards to time: “I don’t have time to manage all this.” Sometimes it’s about money: “I can’t afford to redo everything!” Maybe even: “I don’t have the energy for this.”

    The thing about scarcity is it’s really about us and our (in)ability to create more, which goes back to that “good enough” thing I mentioned up there. It’s also about the feeling that you’re needs won’t be met, that if someone else gets something there won’t be anything left for you, that you’ll be left hurting or alone. (And that takes us to #4.)

    Ask yourself: Why do I think I can’t have or create more?

  4. “What about me and what I want?”

    This one is sneaky and sometimes hard to see. Maybe it surfaces as the “Why me? Everyone is out to get me!” reaction we have when things change without our approval.But it’s also that anxiety we feel as we try to figure something out and feel like we’ll be the last one to get it (or that we’ll never get it). Or the panic we feel if life or love gets tough, because we’re afraid it won’t work out.

    You see, under this idea that people are intentionally hurting you or will hurt you is really the idea that you are or will be alone, unloved, unseen, unheard, not cared for or taken seriously, ignored, unimportant or unappreciated.

    Ask yourself: How long have I felt alone?

  5. Or maybe it’s something else entirely…
    Have you caught yourself wrapped up in reacting badly about something, complaining about change that you know really doesn’t matter?

    Well, then it’s likely it’s not about what’s changing at all. It’s likely the change you’re resisting is really just a scapegoat for something else.

    Ask yourself: What am I really avoiding or distracting myself from by spending my energy fighting with this?

How do I know this? Oh, only because I’ve experienced each one of these at some time in my life. And I’ve talked to or coached countless others who have discovered the same about their own fear of change.

It’s just Truth that underneath our own negative reactions are our own negative beliefs or fears. It’s fact that things cannot cause our reactions, only offer us opportunities to react. How we react, however, is totally up to us.

What Have You Found Beneath
Your Own Fear of Change?