“HOW TO” Society

For so many years when I had a problem (real or perceived), I’d look to the ‘experts’ for the answers to solve the challenge.  Most of my life I’ve identified through the physical so I’d invest in the next best idea or program to be healthy, strong, flexible, better! I’d buy the DVDs, the Cds, books or take the course to follow the regimented ‘how to’ program.

Let’s see – HOW TO

  • lose weight – get stronger – get flexible – get in shape – get a tight butt
  • get rich
  • get the perfect partner
  • manage relationships
  • get the perfect job
  • stay young
  • find peace & enlightenment
  • on & on it went… I bet you can name several.

I needed concrete step by step instructions on how to resolve the crisis or improve my life in some way.  Once I had the ‘how to’, I could do it, fix it, move on and be HAPPY – or so I thought.

To paraphrase Brene Brown, ‘if how to programs fully worked, we’d all be happy’.

I chuckle now as I write that.  Yes some avoidance – naivete –  and the attitude of ‘give me something to do’, lead me and through the physical steps I would feel better – for a while.  This way of approaching my life took me down so many rabbit holes but also, taught me so much about myself and my life.

Following many of those paths eventually lead me to yoga, meditation, amazing friends and community which has been a turning point for me.  I’m not saying that practical steps combined with heartfelt resonance can’t work but they must be combined in my opinion. Most of the shift is the inner work – living authentically by developing a relationship with our Self.  Once we begin this work, we can lean in – discern – and use the ‘how to’ advice to improve and enhance those aspects of our lives that we wish to change.

I believe that not one perfect ‘how to’ program exists for any of us if we don’t do the required inner work to compliment the process.  I’d love to hear your thoughts…

 

 

 

 

 

To Forgive is not to Forget

Forgiveness is an easy concept to get mentally but embodying the practice can be quite challenging for many of us.  I believe it’s a process – sometimes a long term process – of letting go, healing and moving on.

In my earlier years playing sports, I was very, very competitive.  If someone gave me an unfair push or shove during a game, I would not forgive nor forget.  I would make it my purpose to ‘pay them back’ in the next game.  I got really good at holding grudges and not letting things go.  It became like a protective armour – fuelling my intensity.  It was exhausting carrying all that unwillingness to forgive.  It definitely affected my performance and my personality.

Over the years, as I have moved through my life, I’ve come face to face with ample opportunity to forgive others that I feel have wronged me (or my friends and family) in some way.   I’d like to say that I ‘nailed it’ and forgave all the time – letting go of the anger and judgement and moved on with my life.  I’d like to say that, but I can’t.  Some deep rooted hurts have stayed with me much of my life affecting my ability to be open, vulnerable and whole-hearted.

How do we forgive others for what they have said or done that has harmed us?  How do we forgive ourselves for things we’ve said or done that have harmed another or ourselves?  Deep reflections – indeed.

Many years ago, I read a book ‘Forgive For Good’ and the one thing I took away was that when I find the ability to forgive someone, it doesn’t mean what they did to me was okay or right, but that I no longer will allow my life to be ruled by the energy of the hurt.  Pretty profound for me.  I was so moved that I gave a copy of this book to several people in my life (including family).

I began in earnest to practice forgiveness and then life happened.  I fell in and out of the conscious  practice most of my adult life.

What I’m learning as I heal and grow is that if I truly know myself, I can find more compassion and understanding to let myself off the hook and forgive.  I can lovingly take responsibility for my life (for what I say, what I do, what I think and feel) and for how I respond to others.  If I have lashed out at someone, I can take responsibility to make amends to resolve it.  I can also believe that what others have said or done to me wasn’t really about me at all – but, about their process of growing and healing.  This in itself gives me a huge opportunity to let things go and stop judging.

This is and continues to be a process of learning, unlearning & relearning for me in my life.

I’m not saying that you have to forgive everyone for everything (that is not mine to decide).  No one except you knows what is right for you or when you are ready.  What I’m asking you to do is consider, where in your life can you forgive yourself to start a deep internal healing process to unlock your hearts’ potential to live a more loving, authentic and joy-filled life.  Isn’t it time?

Are you ready to forgive and heal in any area of your life?

Freedom

If you were to ask me the most important aspect of my life – what means so much to me at this time – it would be FREEDOM.

Although I’ve known intuitively that personal freedom has always been important to me, I didn’t realize that this aspect of my personality was ‘not negotiable’.   In fact, a lack of freedom is definitely my Kryptonite.

In my life, as I came to a realization that I wasn’t happy – happy in a job, a relationship, a situation – whatever it was – I would initiate behaviours and patterns to get out and get away from that circumstance.  This was not at a conscious level for most of my life.  I also could not name why I was unhappy or unfulfilled in those circumstances.  I just knew I felt contained or smothered and it wasn’t right for me anymore.  I needed out.

I remember having a boyfriend/partner who was incredibly amazing and we had a wonderful relationship.  After several years together, he started to talk about marriage and children.  It scared me and all I could feel was to flee.  I had a sense of loosing my freedom and being locked into something that I didn’t want at that time.  So, I created dissonance in that relationship to justify leaving it.  It didn’t make sense to me except to know that I needed out.

In the last few years, as I grow, heal and know myself better, I am understanding a lot more about why I did what I did and having more compassion for myself about how I did what I did.  I now recognize the paramount importance of personal freedom to me.  So much of my life makes more sense to me now.  I have greater awareness around my patterns and a loving understanding of how to address this primal need with my lifestyle and my life.

Freedom is my ‘soul food’.  It means the ability to do what I want to do when I want to do it (or at least be able to plan for it); to not feel tethered and held back by the density of fear and limiting circumstances.

I need Freedom to: Travel; Teach; Learn; Question; Grow; Create; Believe; Love; See; Change; Speak Up; Stand Up; Agree or Disagree; Be Still; Be Silent; Move; Plan; Choose; Come and Go; To Be Me; To say ‘yes’ and ‘no’.  Freedom to be human and make mistakes.

What matters most to you?  I’d love to hear what your Krytonite is?

 

 

Believe

I Believe…

As a kid, I believed in all the usuals – Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy.  They were mainstays in my childhood memories of things I thought to be true.  They were given to me as hopeful wide-eyed wonder ideals of benevolent beings who ‘had my back’ and were there for me.  I could count on them as a child.

As an innocent, impressionable child I was sold make belief Personas that could affect my life in some way to heighten my joyfilled expectations and monitor my behaviour (I remember trying to be so good especially in December so that Santa would come).  As time marched on, I learned that Santa and his crew were imaginary friends given to me by family and society to serve a purpose in this journey in life.

Looking back, I often wonder, what other beliefs have I been taught, given or taken on that really don’t bear true in the reality of my life now.  So what do I believe and what do I believe in?

I believe at a heart & soul level that we (humans) are capable of so much more than we have ever been taught. My work is to pull back the layers of information and teachings I have been given over the years to feel what is actually true for me and what is a conditioned belief given to our society for reasons not always benevolent.

I believe in the vast potential of the human body & it’s ability to heal.  My work is to take responsibility for my health without blame or shame.  To lean into what feels right for me, eat what fuels my body and move and play in ways that respect & honour my physical needs.  My work is not to jump into the next fad diet or program, but to see if it resonates for me on all levels of my being & then take respsonsibility for myself.

I believe that boundaries are a healthy way to respect, love & honour each other in life.  I am a ‘fixer’ and a ‘people-pleaser’.  My work is to trust myself and my gut responses when I need to say ‘no’, when I need to back away, when I need to slow down and listen more deeply to the messages I am getting.

I believe that I must love & accept myself as I am in my perfect imperfection.  I was taught that it was selfish to love yourself.  I now believe wholeheartedly that I can’t love others as they are unless I love myself as I am.

I believe we need to balance the power and strength of the masculine with the love and compassion of the feminine.  I was taught to compete to get what I wanted in life – to win at any cost.  This system doesn’t work – just look at the state of our world.  My work is to consciously and consistently work in collaboration with others to build all of us up to succeed and flourish.

I believe that every emotion has validity and power to teach us about who we are in this life.  I was taught to hide tears, to not rock the boat, to settle to keep the peace.  My work is to acknowledge each emotion as I experience it, to lean into it and not ignore or repress it.  I am learning to heal by feeling and allowing the emotions to move through me in healthy ways.  I’m living more authentically.

These are some of my beliefs and it’s a work in progress.

What do you believe in?  Do those beliefs serve your highest good & greatest joy? I’d love to hear from you.

Love & light

Brenda