Giving Myself Permission
What if I get to show up when I want to, and how I want to, in my life, and here on this page?
I've been living in a story about who I need to be, and how I need to show up, in order to be accepted. This blog has followed the script of that story. I'm feeling cramped and constricted by this story. Surely it served me well for a time but now it feels like an old coat I've outgrown. Too tight. Too small. Too fussy. Too "presentable." Too much freakin work!
I want out.
The "story" says that to show up here, on this page, which I publish and send to you all, I have to meet certain standards. One: I have to craft a coherent narrative. Two: I have to show up as an expert. Three: the message needs to somehow support or help "market" my coaching practice. Four: it can be personal but not too personal. Five: It has to offer something helpful, actionable, to you, my audience.
I didn't set these intentions consciously. I just was driven by them from deep in my subconscious mind, my operating system, my core conditioning. I didn't choose them. They chose me. I see that now.
As a child I learned very early that to be accepted I had to show up a certain way. These were my assignments: Be smart. Be pleasant. Be agreeable. Be flexible. Perform your most clever tricks, but don't upset or offend anyone. Be careful not to rock the boat, to draw criticism, to hurt anyone's feelings, or make anyone feel threatened.
I learned to be a tightrope walker. Perform your best while also staying tightly balanced on the line of what's acceptable. This was how I stayed connected to - and accepted in - my family. It worked. I survived. And by some measures thrived.
But I also contracted, braced to the point where my body rebelled with pain and exhaustion. When the body says "no," the jig is up.
My mind and body ache for relief - to simply let go and allow myself to fall from the tightrope. There's a beautiful net to catch me. It is soft and safe. It welcomes and holds me. It is home. It is freedom. As I lay there, I marvel that I am, indeed, fully intact. I did not break or die or kill anyone else by letting go. It's all ok.
So here's a new story - and this one IS intentional. I won't show up here on any consistent schedule. One post won't always follow logically from the last. I won't have to share any nuggets of information, learning, or instruction. I won't have to tie everything up in a neat little bow so that each post has a clear theme or lesson. I just get to show up and share what is on my mind and in my heart. Because that's all I have ever wanted to do. Just to show up as me. Without all the shinny badges and bells and whistles and degrees. Without having to prove anything to myself or to you.
As a coach I am almost entirely self-taught. Yes I did a completed a couple of certification programs when I got started. I have two pieces of paper that say I completed some course of study and that I am, officially, a "certified something." But they did not teach me how to accompany people on their healing paths. Those skills have come from sitting with others, connecting with my body, living consciously in my life experience, and learning in relationship and community with others.
I have a gift as a healing guide. I just do. It's hard to name. They don't hand out licenses for it. It's a tapestry fully of my own creation and it is unique to me. I hereby let go of the compulsion to categorize myself. I just do what I do.
So I'm just gonna show up here and talk about what's up for me.
Healing. I will be sharing about healing. Because that is what I care about. For myself, for those around me, for the world. I cannot stop - there is always more healing possible. It's what feeds me, keeps my feeling alive.
What is healing? What does it mean? How does it happen? What gets in its way?
It is in our nature to move toward healing - in our bodies, our minds, and in whatever it is you call your spirit, soul, or non-material self. The Buddha (allegedly) said that pain is inevitable but suffering is optional. As humans in human bodies, enmeshed in social systems, we will experience pain. There is no avoiding it. But suffering - suffering is what happens when we fear the pain, resist the pain, make the pain wrong, perpetuate it with our stories, get stuck in it, believe it's all there is.
To heal is not to eliminate pain. That is not possible. To heal is to reduce suffering - the optional, that "second arrow" that we shoot into ourselves, that compounds the pain we cannot avoid.
So this is the question. What moves us toward suffering? What moves us away from it? Or, I should say, what moves ME toward or away from suffering? Because after all, that's all I can talk about with any kind of authority. What I've experienced, learned, come to understand.
What I really want is to be in conversation. I am a connector - I always have been. I'm not sure how to turn this blog into more of a conversation. There's the comments feature but I don't think it works all that well. I have a Facebook page but I have such a love-hate relationship with social media. I don't know - I'll ponder it. I welcome your ideas.
Meanwhile, I'd love to simply hear from you. How have you been faring? What is up for you? What's calling to you? How are you thriving and how are you suffering?
Also, how did you come to subscribe to this blog? What do you appreciate about it? What could you do without?
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Take very good care ❤️