When I look back at 2021, I feel dizzy. The emotional rollercoaster was a lot to take for many of us. I often felt like my shoulders shrugged in, my heart tempted to close up. The disappointment felt was existential, like I couldn't be who I truly am, but not because I was in my own way. It felt the world was in my way. I saw how easy it was to give in to fear and go back to more safe, logical, and measured ways of moving through the world...
Instead, I accepted the invitation and dug deeper. I found a wound in my heart that had been there for eons, a wound that said, "it is not safe to be that sensitive and that open, because in the end, it will hurt, you will be disappointed."
Familiar? This belief can take you back into old patterns very fast. It can easily be justified by how people around you live their life. It takes a lot of patience, trust in your core-essence, and more patience to move through. Your inner child holds this core wound, and it will work hard at protecting you from what it believes is a life or death situation. If you can relate to having a similar hurt, here is what I recommend:
First, recognize that you closed in on yourself in reaction to a shock, a traumatic event, or a freeze response. You'll know it by your shoulder caving into your chest, your posture curving in, your breath becoming more shallow, and your mind wandering away from the direct experience in your body and into your more rational habitual thoughts. You will also notice that you are keeping yourself more busy than usual with tasks and to-do lists, distracting you from the real pain of what happened. Roll your shoulder back and down, expose your heart and throat, take a few deep breaths into your chest, and create space for you to feel it all.
Second, recognize the ache in your heart, the one that was covered up when the shock, freeze, or traumatic event happened. It's palpable. It's a sadness that reveals itself when you get very close to your heart, and you whisper to yourself these love words: "sweetheart, I am so sorry this happened to you. I am here to tell you it is safe to be sensitive. I know you are skeptical, but I've got you. You can be as open and free as you want and need. I am here for you." Exaggerate your breath when you are talking to yourself like this, it will help your body know that it can trust your words.
Third, stay committed to this conversation with your heart for at least a few weeks. Your body will need convincing as it remembers a different story than what you are telling. Every day, bring this knowing into your feet. This means that as you repeat the love words to your heart, you feel them in your heart and feel them in your feet. Imagine deep safety roots, as big as your forearm, digging into the earth.
If you do this every day for a few weeks, you will notice a big difference in your overall response to the world. You will be braver, build more trust in yourself and the world, and see that life is actually on your side. You will see that even though it appears that circumstances are here to shut you down, the intelligence in you being here at this time, learning and growing the way you are, is pure magic. Again, it takes a lot of patience and the will to move through and emerge.
As I went through his process multiple times this year, it led to me going back "home" to Kauai last week. Once I was there, and everything was getting worse, pandemic-wise, back home, it felt irresponsible for me to be there, for a moment. And then I let it go. I knew I needed to go for business, secure venues and suppliers for my retreats, but personally, it was a gesture of leaning into my heart, listening to what it needed, and moving through the fear that had built up in the past 24 months.
During the first two flights there, my internal dialogue was painful. I wanted to turn around and go back to the coziness of my home and the safety of my family. I was so surprised by that, as travel has been such a big part of my life (I would say it's a core value of mine lol.) But once I was on the last leg and landed on Kauai, I felt like I was birthing myself again. I will write more about my experience on the island in my next blog post, but what I'll say now is this: "it is not only safe, but it is soul-affirming, purpose propelling, and magic provoking to be sensitive and open, through and through, with every inch of my being. And more so now with everything happening in the world."
Kauai always reminds me that: who I remember myself to be when "there" is always within me "here." This is how I will close this year. A deepening of knowing that "home" is anywhere I allow my heart to be sensitive and open.
I hope this supports you as 2021 ends and a new chapter begins for you. I will mention one last thing. If you are called to Kauai and are willing to camp (it is so regenerating and very safe ; ) and fun to camp on Kauai) I have a few spots left for March. Email me if you have any questions.