Once upon a time
I joined Stone Soup & Lemonade, a women’s group dedicated to personal and professional development.
I went to my first gathering on Sunday. We would be celebrating Earth Day.
About 10 minutes into the agenda I noticed that some of my buttons were being pushed. I immediately went into habitual defensiveness.
So there I was, sitting in discomfort,vacillating between feeling misunderstood (a very big and heavy piece of baggage for me) and considering how this might possibly have everything to do with how I was receiving the communications.
My body felt restless. Unconsciously I refused to place my feet on the floor. I realized that I felt vulnerable and wanted my knees closer to my abdomen. I let my body do what it was asking to do. Gradually, I felt my body agree to open and relax.
Instead of shutting down, as is my habitual response to believing myself misunderstood, I posed other possibilities to myself.
In not shutting down (completely), I learned the following about myself:
my lack of impeccability and clarity of communication lead to responses disconnected from my intention. In other words, I didn’t say what I really meant and the response, while appropriate was not satisfying. My words and my thoughts were incongruent.
This is one of my patterns. Here’s how it usually works.
I arrive with the Judge reminding me of my inability to verbally communicate with impeccability and clarity in the company of strangers. When I “prove” the Judge right, the Victim chimes in, “See, you did it again and now people think you’re an idiot – hysterical – overemotional. So not fair. Think small and maybe you can disappear. Keep quiet next time.” and the Judge, “If you were really as smart as you’d like to believe, you would be a better verbal communicator. You’re not so you’re not smart.” And the armor is once again, in place.
After the meeting portion of the gathering, I was scheduled to present my passion. In the past, I let the Judge and the Victim convince me and effectively siphon any Joy I had coming into the situation. On Sunday, even though I still felt the push and pull of being in the middle of a significant shift, once I started to move the Joy flowed.
My awareness had been the antidote.
Staying present helped me to remain open so that Joy did not end up dammed and suffocated.
In retrospect, I am surprised by the amount of energy if took for me not to respond out of habit. I felt as though I was chest-deep in mud trudging forward. Every step, every choice was deliberate out of necessity. If I didn’t place my “feet” mindfully, I would end up sucked down into the pit of vipers that the Judge and Victim provide.
Celebrating Earth Day brought Titania to mind. Earthy chocolate swing pants and a top of flowers and vines seemed appropriate. The sensation of loose hair spilling and swinging around my shoulder blades felt perfect. Another integral part of the shifts, changes and transitions flowing through my life is the evolution of my inner face.
My “inner face” is what I show when I get to wear a costume. Halloween has always been perfect for revealing what I keep hidden.
In my Nia classes until 2 years ago, every Halloween I shared a frightening, dangerous, ugly inner face. 2 years ago she was a reflection of the scary becoming something else, something softer and gentler. She was “witch”, “vampire”, “zombie”, “dead elf,” “dead fairy”, then the “fairy queen” more suited to a Jim Butcher Dresden novel. A year ago and this past Halloween, she continued into this new identification. She – I still didn’t have a name. On Sunday the connection was to Titania and I felt downright beautiful and richly inspired.
Vulnerability surrounding me like deceptively delicate fairy wings, I managed to hang onto the inspiration that brought me the Earth Day playlists and my love for delivering Nia and dance. Knowing that I had caught a glimpse of what could create a far more satisfying and rewarding way to share what I love, I felt my feet on the ground. Quiet. Certain. Relieved. Happy.
And lived happily ever after.
Until the next wave in this transition surge arrives to rattle my cage.
Thank you to the lovely, authentic women who shared this time and space. I am grateful.