There is No Such Thing as Square One

I connected with a sweet, beautiful, wonderful client recently who was feeling overwhelmed and set back by life.

It’s a frustrating feeling, to set your heart and soul on a goal, or even just a new perspective…to feel the shifts happening in your life, the forward movement finally taking place. And then to experience an upheaval, a new challenge, a serious trigger, the whole of your world throwing up in your face.

Then to feel yourself losing all that ground.

If you're gonna fall, you may as well fall with pizzazz. #jazzhands
(If you’re going to fall, fall with pizzazz!)

Three steps forward, two back again…or four back it can seem.

We experience that backward slide in our own inner work and then we couple it with stories about What That Means. And the stories we tell ourselves about it SEEM true.

Our big, desperate, self-deprecating emotions like to tell us it’s real, we’ve just lost out again, Life is against us, this is proof we’re not good enough, and all our deep and meaningful (and hard) work has been thwarted by fate or circumstance or someone who just wants to watch us suffer.

And so we cry that we’re back to Square One, and we suffer for it.

But it’s just nonsense, you know?

There is no such thing as Square One.

You can’t get set back to it. You can’t even really start from it.

It’s like eating.

You go to the store, find the perfect ingredients, spend 30-60 minutes making a meal, 15 minutes eating it, 30 minutes cleaning it up…

5 hours later you don’t shake your fist at the sky and yell, “DAAAAAAAMMIIIIIIT! I’m hungry again! All that work for nothing! I’ll never get ahead! I’m going to be hungry forever!

Instead, what do you do? You just eat again.

Maybe you eat better food this time if you got hungry too soon. Maybe you eat different food if you ended up with cramps and as the lovely, Christie Inge recently said to the Sisterhood, “the roaring shits”. Maybe you ask for support if you need help getting good stuff on the table.

But you don’t give up on eating.

That would be suicide by starvation.

Such is the process of Life.

The cyclical nature of growth, of moving forward and seemingly back again, the leaps and bounds and roadblocks, the coming back around to what we want to think is Square One…it’s just your appetite for Life bringing you back to the table.

Offering you more opportunity to grow.

To fill your belly again.

To realign yourself.

So eat it up.

Get better tools. Get support if you need it. But please don’t go hungry today because you’ve just eaten yesterday. And please don’t hate all over yourself because you think you’ve somehow failed at filling your belly.

Because that job will never ever be complete, so long as you wish to truly live.

The Spiritual Type-O-Meter: Which one are you?

What's your spiritual "type"?

Have you ever noticed certain spiritual “types” – ways in which people approach or navigate or experience their own personal development or philosophies or beliefs? I’ve been playing with this idea – not as another flipping way to create a label for ourselves – but as a tongue-in-cheek way to notice our own tendencies. Don’t take it too seriously, k? 😉

Type 1: The Spiritual Doer

The Spiritual Doers are easy to spot. They take their drive in business and in life and apply it to their spirit. Their energy never stops. They devour Life and all its experiences with an insatiable hunger for more. They aren’t easily daunted by what they perceive to be their own work. They delve in, swim in it, play in it. They do the same with all of Life. They are most often the adventurers and I think they may be the ones to take the most inspiration from many different cultural beliefs, creating their own understanding of the Universe. Their curiosity helps them to explore and thus see the Truth in anything. They go after Enlightenment with a Bring It On approach. They are energetic, find the joy in Life and every experience it offers, and are contagious in their desire to release the negativity. They don’t have time for the bullshit; the Universe is too good, too breathtaking, too inspiring to get caught up in their fears or struggles for too long.

I find that most Spiritual Doers are attracted to the Law of Attraction, wanting to create their abundance and awakening through sheer will. I also find that many Spiritual Doers are hiding an inner control freak inside, and LOA appeals to that control freak by being misinterpreted as “If I DO this, I can get what I want”. (Come on, admit it. It appeals. 😉 ) This probably means it can become very easy to miss the bigger picture: that all of it is impermanent. Spiritual Doers are often challenged by the idea that even joy and happiness are impermanent human states of perceptions, especially if we go after them as something we can create or do.

Surrender is the biggest challenge of all, though. It feels like giving up, defeat, becoming passive and allowing anything (anything meaning “the worst”, naturally) to happen. With surrender, comes Trust which goes against the genetic makeup of a doer – doers often do because of what they fear might happen if they don’t. (“If I don’t grasp the opportunity, it’ll never come again.”) Or dammit, they just like to be in control! 😉 Letting go is almost sacrilegious to those of us doers, until we’ve learned to confront that part of our self that moves unconsciously from our head, instead of our hearts, our core, our Truth. I find most Spiritual Doers are very, very, very challenged by the practice of meditation. Being still, “doing nothing”, makes us itchy to move. We think of a hundred things that need doing and so our meditation can quickly turn into a planning session with a To Do list on the floor beside us.

What Spiritual Doers Can “Do”

Cuz I know you’re asking. 😉

Stillness is probably the most important practice for you if you find yourself to be a Spiritual Doer. With it will inevitably come what Spiritual Thinkers are so good at – self-inquiry. DIG IN and examine what is truly compelling you to move and what surfaces within when you consider the idea of not moving. Essential oils (Lavender, White Fir) may help you find physical stillness, calming the autonomic nervous system. While practicing this quiet space each day, also practice what comes naturally to a Spiritual Feeler – tuning in to your heart (another essential oil, ylang ylang, is really good at helping with this). Don’t just spend time noticing the emotions that arise, though. Instead, notice the way the air moves across your face. Notice the sensations in your hands. See if you can feel your eyelashes. And do a lot of observing – observing when you move, why you move, how you move, and from where. This will allow you to slow down enough to tune in more deeply and your movements will then be attuned to the natural flow and grace of the Universe.

Type 2: The Spiritual Thinker

Spiritual thinkers are obviously deeply thoughtful. They approach spirituality rationally, because it just makes sense. They devour books and ideas, and like Spiritual Doers are often curious about other cultures and beliefs, although they make not feel as adventurous or action-oriented. They simply like to learn, and everything and everyone carries a lesson for them. Spiritual Thinkers also tend to be very articulate, and can often help others through their own spiritual process by saying what that person might not be able to articulate, or offering the same wisdom in a new way that allows another person to sink deeper into the understanding within themselves. I see Thinkers as most often being spiritual guides for this reason, and we often love it because it furthers their own spiritual growth in the process. They are also very self-aware and can identify their core beliefs and triggers easily once they know how. This can lead to a lot of freedom from within, very quickly.

However, and I hate to break it to you, but of all the spiritual types, if you’re a Spiritual Thinker you might have the hardest time maintaining that freedom. That love for helping others can easily turn into your own persona-creating and ego-stroking identification. You can get lost in your own ideas and most especially get lost in your own thoughts or daydreams (which quickly turn into worries and fears). Inner fears (you know, the ones that sound silly, irrational, or embarrassing when you say them out loud) are thicker for you, because you tend to live in your head more than most, which can unconsciously feed your primal thought processes (think: survival, fear). You can easily drive yourself to the brink, just as naturally as you can drive others back from it. (I often wonder if Spiritual Thinkers and really Spiritual Doers without all the physical energy. We just do it all in our heads.)

Something for Spiritual Thinkers to Think About

Your job is to get out of your head. When you do DIG IN, do so carefully and with intention, and don’t stay in there too long. Only self-examine to bring about a new awareness; never to turn the same damn thought over and over. Take on the motto, “It’s just a thought” and practice assigning less value to them. Spend more time in your body. Go for a walk, practice yoga (which will move your body in order to still your mind), cook a meal, watch a light-hearted movie, smile and really feel the sensations of it. Say things out loud that you’ve been dwelling on in your head to diminish some of the enchantment they seem to have when you keep them hidden. Plant a garden and make it a daily practice to hand-pick the bugs (talk about meditative). And every time your mind starts to spin into its bullshit, immediately stop it in its tracks and state the Truth as you know it (even if you’re not feeling it). Practice connecting to Love and Trust in meditation, using ylang ylang or marjoram to pull you out of your head and into your heart. And practice moving from your heart – volunteering time at a shelter, performing random acts of kindness, anything to get you into that presence of beauty all around you.

Type 3: The Spiritual Feeler

Spiritual Feelers tend to be the most deeply convicted in their values and beliefs. How can they be anything else when they sense and experience things on such a deep, instinctual, and emotional level? These are the people who deeply feel their Truth, down to the bone, to the cell. They don’t often argue or debate about it, because that would be as strange to them as arguing about the color of the sky. They just believe. They know. And they know what they know because they’ve experienced it in a way that surpasses the understanding and limitations of the mind or the eye. It simply IS.

Spiritual Feelers have the greatest capacity for empathy and compassion. They are the ones wrapping their arms around the wounded and show them their own value. They see, they understand, and they feel a deep draw to be present for others in order to show them what they need to see in themselves. They can connect most easily with their own Presence, with a residing sense of Love and peace, with Spirit. Meditation start to come easier because it feels so good.

But Spiritual Feelers have an easily tragic pitfall. They tend to feel everything deeply, including what they perceive as pain and suffering in the world. Feeling the violence around them, sensing the disconnection, touching the sorrows of the world, they can often fall into their emotions so deeply they don’t find their way out. Nonattachment feels like an insult to them, heartless and cold. And that inability to be unattached can lead to feeling overwhelmed, too small, hopeless, depressed, maybe even angry, and often eventually apathetic and shutdown. In fact, I often wonder if this currency of apathy and vacancy we see in our culture is the effect of Spiritual Feelers becoming so overwhelmed with the state of the world without the tools to navigate it safely that they are left with no other option but to shut it off completely. When they become too overwhelmed with the world, or too battered by the experience of it, they disconnect from their own heart, or they get so lost in their emotions that they can no longer feel that overriding Presence they used to in meditation, and that’s if they even find themselves in meditation or prayer at all anymore. They shutdown to Love, shut down to their own gifts, and at worst, the only thing they feel is a dull ache from what they’ve buried.

A Practice for Spiritual Feelers

Spiritual Feelers are probably feeling every word written here, and hopefully feel this wave of warmth and love I’m sending, too. If you’re a Spiritual Feeler, it might be your practice to create boundaries around yourself, and time in your day (yes, every day) in which to simply breathe. Don’t call it meditation, especially if that feels too big right now. Just take a walk, watch the birds hopping around for seeds, and let yourself find some stillness away from the world. You need some time to reconnect to something bigger than your own desire to help heal others, something that whispers to you that it’s okay to Trust the process of Life.

Movement and choices – like the Spiritual Doers – are going to give you a little more space from everything you feel so acutely. Try applying some essential oils to your solar plexus or heart, like Frankincense essential oil (to help you ground yourself – especially when everything is overwhelming and leaving you feeling scattered) or Wild Orange or Lime essential oil (to raise you up out of the depths when it all seems too heavy). And try breaking the heavier energies with water. Drink water, take a swim, take a shower, wash your face (maybe not take a bath if it just ends up feeling like you’re stewing in your own stuff).

I’d also recommend you try on the role of a Spiritual Thinker and DIG IN, examining some of the emotions you feel – especially things like obligation and hopelessness. Ask where it comes from and how you can best do what you’re called to do. Most importantly, spend time with the spiritual principle that the only way you can make an impact on the world is through nonattachment, by not seeing and judging something as “negative”. Stop watching the news. At least for awhile. Practice viewing the world through the eyes of deep awareness, and viewing the Light in others, instead of viewing only their hurt and darkness. Lastly view your own reactions with some distance as well. Step back and simply observe yourself. Create some space between You and your emotional perceptions so you can see the world and those in it from that love-centered, grounded place again.


You are here.

Whichever type you are I can almost guarantee that reading all this brought up a myriad of conflicting responses – laughter as you recognized yourself hopefully, indignation or resistance as you recognized yourself perhaps, and quite possibly, self-judgment or even a sense of self-doubt, as though you think you’re stuck in this place.

The truth is our Spiritual Types change constantly. Each is an experience we move through to allow us to have the fullest understanding of Who We Are. But Who We Are is none of these things. You are not truly a doer, a thinker, or a feeler. Those are more like “habits” we can identify ourselves as having.

If you noticed, the practice is similar for each: self-inquiry, observation, stillness.

When you can allow yourself the practice of quiet observation of these traits, they will begin to fall away and the You that is true (not to sound like Dr. Suess or anything) will be all that’s left. And that’s where the freedom and joy is truly found. In Being and allowing your actions, thoughts, and emotions to organically move from that Being.

 

The Four (Biggest) Mistakes of Personal Growth Junkies

Do you know how hard it was to title this post? I almost called it “The Four Mistakes of Seeking Self-Awareness” but vague and noncommittal woo-woo jargon only sometimes float my boat and never for titles. Anyway, what I hope you know I’m talking about is those of us that are committed to rising up out of the habit of sleep-walking through our lives to grow spiritually and inter-personally in ways that fulfill and satisfy our desire to experience all that Life is offering and asking of us.

I’m talking to those of us who want to be awake and embracing Life. Those of us who already live pretty unconventionally, even if it’s only vicariously right now. Those of us who want more.

I’m talking from experience, too. Experience in my own life. Experience with clients who stumble with the same things.

These are the four biggest mistakes I see us all make:

1. We try to work on others as much as (or more often than) we work on ourselves:

Some people call this projecting. I look at it like a Fix It mode. We’re trying to “fix” our lives and we do so by meddling in what other people “should” be doing in their own lives. We (and by we, I also mean I) constantly think the problem is someone else’s, and if we can only fix our partner or our child or that really annoying neighbor who keeps triggering our desire to get all stabby THEN we will be able to reach personal enlightenment. (Essentially, we make our joy the responsibility of someone else.) OR we have to tell everyone we see with a “problem” about this new, great technique or practice we have. We essentially try to coach people we’re not meant to coach, instead of practicing the love and acceptance we know we’re called to practice.

The answer: That person or thing outside of yourself that you’re trying to fix or help or change is there only to reflect back to you the internal work you need to do. Take what is it they are bringing up in you and DIG IN to it. Bite your tongue or take a walk every time you’re tempted to “help”. The greatest gift you can give them is your own best self in full presence, love, and acceptance of where they are, with the trust that they don’t need fixing or changing.

Quotes by Mooji from www.theorganicsister.com

2. Sharing too much, too soon (or with the wrong people):

I’ve found there is an incubation period with both our dreams and with our healing/growth. There is a time to share and there is an even greater time (especially in the beginning) to hold our Inner Work Cards close to our chest. There are also spaces in which to share that are safe and can hold you in gentleness and nonjudgment and there are spaces that will be too much, too bright, too harsh, too upfront, too cold, or too out of alignment. We sometimes like to blame the people or the space, and call them rude or harsh, and hold onto that hurt we felt for years to come instead of seeing the truth of it: that it wasn’t a right fit. There are also people who just won’t get it, won’t understand where you are, and if your inner work is in its infant stages, they can easily knock you right back down. But none of this is the fault of the people or space; they may be perfectly what you need at another time in your “journey”. They just aren’t right now.

The answer: You wouldn’t subject a just-walking and wobbly baby to a Black Friday sales crowd. They aren’t near ready for that kind of crazy movement. Neither is your heart while it’s stretching itself and still wobbly in its beliefs and practice. Find safe and sacred spaces with people who have been where you are or are there now, places that hold you and nudge you, but not before you’re ready.

3. Not going deep enough:

Oh this one is sort of a pet peeve (and yes, I DIG IN to that!). I can’t tell you how many people I meet insist they only need to repeat their mantra more, or go to yoga more, or change their diet (again), or latch onto that new shiny Fix-It-All Machine. They keep themselves BUSY so they can avoid the real inner work they need to do. They don’t want to DIG IN (hell, who really does? It’s a mess in there and our survival instinct likes to keep us safe from pain) so they try to Build Out…they ignore what’s happening beneath the surface and pile more answers over it to keep the real stuff really hidden. It usually leads to feeling really manic and scattered and we see the same patterns resurface and the real problem never really, finally heal itself.

The answer: Slow the eff down. Stop latching onto something new. Instead allow most things to drop away. Pick one thing – probably the book or practice or person who calls to you the most but likely freaks you out a bit – and focus all your energy on that. Don’t let yourself stop when it starts to get messy or uncomfortable. Know that that is when the good stuff happens: when you clear out all the yuck keeping you from it.

4. Staying too deep, too long:

You know the difference between Digging Deep and digging yourself a grave? How long you stay down with the muck you’ve dug up. It WILL get messy and there are PLENTY of opportunities to feel like total shit, depressed and hopeless, or not good enough. The difference between feeling like a failure that can’t change your own patterns and the person who finds themselves in freedom and joy and Wide-Open-Arm-ness to Life is the person who at some point STOPS digging and stops swimming around in their head and all the junk that our heads are capable of creating (and making us believe is true), and starts planting and nurturing other seeds.

The answer: Get out of your head! Get moving instead.

And because that’s a catchy little rhyme, I’ll just leave it at that. 😉

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.

Part One: Releasing and Letting Go (Video)

I wrote about some of the inner work my 30th birthday was bringing me.

Here’s where I am 3 days later…and be sure to watch until about half way through to hear what’s in the plans for my hair this week! Eeeee!

Be sure to check out freeplaylife.


Want to read more about my process from dreadlocks to a shaved head?

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

Today Is My Birthday, So Why Do I Ache?

This week – the last few weeks – have been deep.

They’ve included heartache, hurt and anger. They’ve included Joy, mindfulness and powerful connection.

And that’s just the personal stuff, between me and me.

Today is my 30th birthday.

I’ve looked forward to this day for so long. Excited, honored and ready to celebrate the last three decades of my life by bringing in the next with consciousness and embracing.

Yet, here I am. Within an ache I am trying to grasp.

With tears at the edge of my eyes.

With my heart breaking.

I’ve known that this birthday was going to be powerful. I felt it coming from years away. And I flowed with it and where it was taking me.

Transformation, I expected.

But I had no idea it would feel like this.

I’ve sat with this. Dwelled in it.

Allowed it to speak to me.

And it whispered,

“Release. Before you can embrace all that’s being offered you must release that which you’ve been holding onto.”

And then I read this from a friend

I feel you’re so blessed with this .. to have it open ♥ hearts only break because they are no longer big enough to hold the new level of love that they are capable of giving and receiving and need to break open and stretch to their new capacity.

And so here I am.

Sitting with an ache I don’t fully understand, holding myself in a heart that is breaking, and moving into my 4th decade guided by the deeper parts of Life.

we must die to one life

As I was sitting with this post, deliberating hitting “publish”, I was reminded of this photo I posted in the spring.

Thank you, Life, for the reminder of what this is.

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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How I Wash My Dreadlocks (Video) and Other Dreaded Things

I’ve had enough people ask how I wash my dreadlocks naturally, that I made a video. For you curiouser minds. 🙂

And here’s my official announcement…

For three and a half years I haven’t felt I was anywhere near cutting my dreads.

That’s changed now.

I don’t mean the time is NOW. But I feel like it’s soon.

Of course, soon could mean tomorrow or it could mean in 6 months.

I’ve learned I rarely get to choose my timing or the pace at which I transition.

And I can’t explain it right now (although I’m sure I will in the future). I just feel like I’m starting a new growth process, one of letting go.

There I said it. I’m at the beginning of the end of this life-changing journey.

To be continued…

 

Instability and the Great Stretch

Cooling Down in WY

This really crazy thing can happen when your 5th wheel tries to roll away without you. Twice.

It can really mess with your sense of stability. Go figure.

The first time it happened in Washington a few months ago while we were visiting the Burditt’s. We could see the slope that time, so we thought we understood it and learned from it.

(Side note: Just to illustrate the difference in my and my husband’s response time. When I saw Jazz moving backward without us, I froze, terrified. Justin? He jumped into action, reaching out and trying to stop it with his bare hands. Definitely the guy you want in a tight spot.)

But the second time it happened (about two months ago) there was no discernible slope. We were at a campground, in a level campsite and had just unhook the truck when it slid back off the two inch leveling blocks with a hard thud to the ground.

Oh, did I mention Zeb and our dog were inside when it happened? Nothing like a mama heart attack.

After that second time I sat outside the RV for hours, unable to go in, unable to unfix my gaze from the front jacks. As if my watchful vigilance was the only thing keeping us in one place.

But it was the dizziness that really messed me up.

Anytime we leveled the jacks, put the slides in or out, hooked up or unhooked, or… you know, made the slightest move, I’d get so dizzy as to almost fall over.

If you’ve been in a 5th wheel or any RV, you know there is always perceivable movement. Which means I was almost always dizzy.

And let me just say, it’s terrifying to feel every subtle movement. Every tiny wiggle, every creak, heaven forbid a freaking lurch…it’s heart-clenching and stomach-dropping and awful.

I knew when we made the choice to travel two years ago I would be confronting a sense of stability. A “sticks and bricks” house denotes at least a certain level of stability.

But I never experienced this ungrounded sense in Benny the Brave. Maybe it was having two axles to rest on instead of one, but I found it easier to lean into an inner sense of stability last year.

This year, though, you could call The Year of the Stretch.

I’ve been stretched and grown in ways that surpass all human comprehension and language. I feel as though I’ve been on a spiritual fast track as I experience the depths of the human condition and come out the other side in awe again and again.

But my inner stability has been the furthest stretch yet.

You see, I actually WANT this uncomfortable experience.

I want to learn how to deeper access my own sense of inner stability, to find a grounded peace within any storm, to walk on the steady ground of my own heart and Soul.

So since that horrific rolling away incident, I’ve leaned into grounding myself.

I’ve spent time barefoot in the grass and the sand, visualized my feet growing roots into the Earth, and I’ve considered piling rocks around Jazz’s wheels and jacks to reaffirm to the world that we are, in fact, grounded and not rolling anywhere. 😉

I’ve also gently leaned into what I may start calling the Great Stretch.

I’ve done my own inner work, sought support from my own coaches, leaned into my own Source, and looked at and processed every element of my reaction and fear, from psychological to spiritual to physical and back again.

It’s as though I’m peeling back layers around this thing called stability, knowing it and its place in my life deeper and through the incident and my own response to it, understanding my own self deeper and with more compassion.

Thankfully the dizziness is rare now. And I’ve found there is a gift in sensing every small movement (lurkers don’t stand a chance).

But more than anything I’m thankfully to be finding my own rugged and unyielding sense of stability, not in my physical environment (although I now understand the importance of grounding our physical selves) but inside myself.

Because I know the world will always change outside of me. I know the unpredictable will continue to occur.

And I also know that it’s my own inner footing that keeps me truly unshakable.

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?