31 December 2014

I Am Alone

"I am in this alone. I have to do this by myself. I can't ask for help." This is along the lines of what I tell myself when I am feeling overwhelmed. Whether I'm at work juggling 52 projects, at home frantically cleaning before guests arrive, or parked in my car having an emotional breakdown, the voice that pops into my anxious brain says, "I am alone."

Sheesh. In the moments that I am feeling like I might shatter or burst, my first thought isn't to ask for help, but instead to drown in my current state alone. Why is this? The short answer: it's programming from my childhood. There must have been an occasion or two when I asked for help, and was met with the feeling that I was a burden or bother. From then on, my body stored the feeling of asking for help as being uncomfortable and hurtful, so instead I would forge through problems and obstacles alone.

Now this shows up in my current day-to-day, as a belief that when the going gets tough, I have to push through it on my own. I've gotten so used to this constructed mindset, that now I not only feel that asking for help would be shameful and annoying, but also that I probably would do a better job if I just took it all on myself anyways. Perfectionism was born. "Let me do this all on my own in my own way and then everything will be ok." (albeit I'm exhausted, deflated, and feeling resentful). And then I have to lie to myself and stroke my ego enough to let the completion of the task or project feel like super wonderful, elating accomplishment, even though I worked with a furrowed brow the whole time in my wallowy state of aloneness. There is no true sense of relief or excitement when you finish a task or meet a goal that you agonized over every minute until its completion.

What story do you tell yourself? We all have a few of those negative sentiments that crop up when we are feeling especially down or tried. Really think on that. When times get hard, what pops into your mind? Is it: "I'm not smart/strong/brave/prepared enough to face this." "I'll probably mess it up." "I don't have enough time/money/energy for this." "I'm a failure." Once you've identified this mental demon, try to trace it back to its roots. Was there a time when your dad called you a wimp? Did your mom scold you when you spoke up? Did a coach focus on your shortcomings instead of your efforts? Did a teacher make you feel stupid for asking a question? Whatever that moment or series of events was, you should be able to reflect back and access how it made you feel, and what you decided to tell yourself as a result. It may blow your mind to see how something so pervasive in your current day-to-day was born from an instant in your past. And let's face it - that instant, regardless of how monumental it felt in the moment, couldn't be farther from your current reality. You are no longer a child, and -bottom line - the past is NOT the present. So we shouldn't be living the now based on something that happened in the past.

In this reflection, I have noticed two important things. The first thing is that all of these terrible judgments (lies) we pass on ourselves in those tough times are all about scarcity. They are about lacking the skills and strength needed to complete something. Or lacking the emotional capacity. Or not being important enough. Or not feeling loved or supported. They all trace back to a state of lack, rather than tapping into the abundance that is ever-true and ever-present to those who recognize and cultivate it. Douse those judgements with a strong dose of abundance, and they become affirmations. "I'm a failure" turns into "I am a winner at anything that I show up for wholeheartedly." "I don't have enough time for this" becomes "I have enough time to finish what is necessary and realistic." "I'm not brave enough" transforms into "I am a damn super hero! I eat rainbows for breakfast and with my magic superpowers, I am not afraid of ANYTHING!!!" (Well, everyone's affirmations will be unique to themselves...heh.)

The second thing I noticed is that our programming actually perpetuates our reality. The more that I experience that thought of "I am alone," the more alone I actually am. The more I have to finish by myself at work. The more alone and taxed I feel when I'm cleaning my apartment. The more weight I must bear in solitude when I'm feeling sad. My feeling of aloneness, creates actual aloneness. Other people start to leave me alone, or avoid me altogether. The resources for help and support slip away. The tasks mount higher and higher, while the assigned person to complete them remains one. Just me. Alone, and suffering. Struggling to do it all without asking for help. ("I'll do a better job than anyone else would anyways." HEY, stop that!).

Our thoughts about our reality become the very fabric of our reality. If you walk around feeling like you don't have enough money to pay your bills or follow your dream, you literally won't have enough. If you feel like you aren't brave enough to take that risk, not only will you not take it, but you will become cowardly and meek in how you present yourself and live your life. I'll take it a step further and even venture to say that if, for example, you don't feel strong enough, you body will actually begin to cower and deteriorate to meet this belief. And that in my state of thinking I'm alone, people will actually leave me and refuse to help me. And that in your state of feeling broke, you will lose or spend more money. 

This all traces back to the law of attraction (the belief that "like attracts like" and that by focusing on positive or negative thoughts, one can bring about positive or negative results). The way you think and feel about yourself physically manifests (e.g. if you feel too scared to confront something, your shoulders will naturally concave to match this belief), and it will then effect how others perceive and treat you. If you feel like crap about yourself, the way you exist and interact with the world is going to be lived out from that place of feeling crappy. If you tell yourself, and others (indirectly or subconsciously), anything enough times, all around you will start to hold it as reality and bend and form around you to match it. That negative belief will show up physically and energistically, and the Universe and all things and people in it will dish out vibes of that same frequency in effort to create a sort of equilibrium. The same is true of positive, affirming thoughts. 

And if you don't believe in the "like attract like" philosophy, then you can, at the least, agree that all "reality" is based on our individual senses and perceptions. What we see and experience in the world is a construct unique to our own cognitive and sensory interpretations. And when our brain (the control center that processes all of our five senses) is focused on negativity, judgment, and discouraging thoughts, we will actually start to see and sense those things in the "outside world" we are perceiving. 

This concludes my musings about how damaging and self-fulfilling negative judgments and fabricated philosophies about ourselves can be. I have recently seen so many blatant, undeniable instances of the law of attraction in action, that I felt compelled to share. I hope that after reading this and with some thought, you are more careful with your beliefs and proclamations, and that you choose sentiments that are born from a place of abundance. Personally, I am going to work on debunking the myth of "aloneness" that I have created by delegating projects, asking for help more often, and simply being more realistic and fair with myself about how much work and responsibility I can actually hold space for. I would love to hear how you will be clearing out your clouded head space and reworking your beliefs in 2015. Share in the comments below.

Happy New Year!

Glass Animals "Cocoa Hooves"

18 December 2014


I have been talking about getting my Unleashed tattoo since my trip to Nicaragua over the summer. Lots of talking about it, some action (doodling). But still haven't booked the appointment. There's been a deep hesitation I experience each time I think about taking that next step. What is it? It's not about getting the tattoo itself. It's deeper than that...

The other day, my business partner brought it up. 
"What's up with your Unleashed tattoo? When is that happening?" 
I felt exposed. I felt out of integrity. In that moment, I was confronted with the truth: I don't feel unleashed enough to deserve it or wear it authentically. It's like that fear of being "found out." Like one day, your boss will come up to you and say, "So, actually, you suck at marketing. I know your LinkedIn profile says that's your 'expertise,' but I see you, and you suck." I experience that when I write these blog posts. "Gosh, what if they realize that I DON'T have it all figured out? And who wants to read about someone bumper-boating around in her own life?" I feel like a work in progress... in pursuit of living unleashing in every moment and embodying that mindset in all I do. But, I still struggle with boundary-setting and my deep-rooted fears. I still wrap myself in expectations and anticipation. I still struggle with being truly present and in gratitude of the nowI'm not my most evolved self, where I ultimately want to be. 

Do you have feelings like that? Like you are constantly in pursuit... focusing on the goal and where you long to be? Are you lasered into the day when you wake up and actually like what you see in the mirror? The day you walk into the offices of the company you've always wanted to work for. The day she asks you out. The day that the scale reads 5 pounds less. The day that your parents accept you for who you are. The day you make time to finish that personal project.

Whatever your ultimate goals and wishes are, that "work in progress" mentality, of constantly looking ahead and wanting for something you currently don't have, puts us in a state of deficiency and "not enough." And for all the perfectionists out there - I feel you. This "not enough" can feel 1000 tons more heavy when you are honed in on that final product being FLAWLESS.

I admit, the "not enough" mindset can be sexy and even a desirable place to be. It allows you to focus on a fabrication in your mind, instead of confronting what the present state actually is. It enables you to disconnect from reality and instead daydream about what you don't have, whether that "thing" be a dream job, a romantic partner, self-value, peace of mind, or an overflowing bank account. It's easy to slip into a place of longing and feeling the lack of whatever you long for. But it completely robs you of your life RIGHT NOW. 

I'm guilty of sitting in that place. It often takes someone else pointing out that I'm spiraling in the "future" whirlpool, dizzying myself and getting nowhere, for me to actively pull myself out and get into a present place of recognition and gratitude. REAL acknowledgement of what the current moment holds: A beating heart. A roof over my head. 5 bucks for a tasty burrito. 2 hands to create. 2 legs to take me wherever I want to go. Friends who love me and laugh with me. Coconut ice cream in my freezer. The energy to get myself to a yoga class. Take inventory! Anytime you sink into that mindset of "my life start 5 years / 5 lbs / 5 miles / 5 interviews / 5 exams / 5 $zeros from now"... SNAP OUT OF IT by honoring what you have, who you are, and where you're at right in this moment. Your life -- your own personal adventure that you get to lead -- is happening and is worth appreciating right now. 

You know all of the lovely quotes about focusing on the destination and, as a result, missing the whole journey. They speak truth.  Give yourself credit for what you're currently working with. That your heart is in the right place, even if your mind wanders and your ego vies for your attention.

What my partner helped me realize was that I shouldn't wait to get my tattoo until I really feel like I'm living unleashed in every moment. The tattoo is really meant to remind me of what I'm capable of, not where I'm going or how I'm going to get there. But that I currently have the tools and the fiery desire - both things to be very grateful for. Eff the "end goal," whatever the heck that construct is. It will probably change 57 times by the end of the week. It's not worth the energy. Right now, I'm happy to claim, and CHOOSE, my current state... releasing the self-judgement and future-focused-thoughts so that I do enjoy the journey.

Jessie J - Masterpiece