Have you ever had anyone tell you that there was something wrong with you?
Maybe someone said, “I’m sensing that your chakras are not aligned”?
Or maybe, at one point in your life, a caregiver told you something about yourself that was intended to keep you safe, or to prevent you from doing something they didn’t like?
These types of statements have the power to disempower you.
I’m a creative person. You should get inside my brain for a moment or two. I can promise, if you aren’t a right brain person like I am - you would probably wonder how I manage to do anything at all in a day!
I am passionate. I get REALLY excited about stuff I enjoy. I get easily distracted from stuff I don’t much enjoy.
One of the projects I have been working on lately is my relationship to money. I have already mentioned the amazing book written by Kate Northrup called, “Money, A Love Story”. If you are looking for a great read and a wonderful map toward loving your money, this book is excellent. Untangling my emotions around money has proven to be a really transformative self inquiry process. I was quite surprised at what I was able to glean about myself just by getting real with my money woes.
Kate has a wonderful lead-in that convinced me that I simply HAD to do the exercises in her book. She tells the story of how she took many workshops and never really fully engaged with the exercises. She figured she could just “do them in her head”.
OMG, I totally do that!!!
Until this book.
And so, I’m doing the exercises.
In one exercise, I had to remember back to my earliest money memory. I couldn’t think of one, so I got quiet. And waited, and this gem popped up:
(and I realized that my earliest money memory was pretty potent.)
Here’s the story....
It’s my birthday (9th maybe?) and we’re at Bullwinkles. If you’ve never been, it’s an arcade.
Vegas, essentially, for kids.
There’s food, plentiful sugary drinks, flashing lights, tokens, games, tickets, prizes, giant & loud animatronic animal figurines ... did I mention the flashing lights?
Of course. I was having SO MUCH FUN!
Seriously, a sugar high and tokens. So many tokens. So many games. Tickets. Prizes. SO MUCH FUN.
And I remember my mom looking at me in horror. I had gone wild, I was “out of control”.
And this story was repeated to me, again and again... "Remember the time you got so wild and out of control at Bullwinkles?"
Mom was trying to help me. She saw me struggling with maintaining a sense of self when I was having fun. I couldn’t find my feet in the midst of the intense stimulation and the FUN.
Looking back, I can see how this messaging plagued me throughout my life.
Having fun = Out of control
Robin is out of control. She cannot control her self. She just wants to have fun. All fun and no work. Robin will never be successful. She just wants to party and have fun. She is out of control.
And so... when I tried beer for the first time on a school band trip...
And my first year of University (cringe)....
And when I declared bankruptcy
And when my relationship dissolved.
In between declaring bankruptcy and the relationship dissolving... and feeling frustrated with the way my mind worked, I went for therapy. I was given: the diagnosis.
I got some strategies, great idea, but NO.
(omg, seriously, you expect me to keep lists and order them in priority and do them in that same order????).
So, now I had an explanation. A label for my “out of control” mind.
But, no love. No acceptance. No belief that things could be different.
See, this was a pattern. And I gave my power to control that pattern over to my mother. As a child, what else do you do? I just re-lived the pattern over and over again because that is all I knew how to do. Robin is wild when she is having fun.
Even with a diagnosis, I still had the pattern. I knew what to call the pattern, but I kept living it over and over again. A diagnosis didn’t mean much to me. Strategies didn’t mean much to me either. Because the core belief that this was a “problem” kept me in the pattern.
What you resist, persists.
This pattern that has impacted my life from that moment: I was doing something I LOVED, I was having FUN and was simultaneously told I was “too wild” and “out of control”
And so, from today forward, I am challenging that notion of myself.
I’m calling myself creative instead of labelling myself with ADHD. So what if my brain makes noise? I prefer to call it music and I’m choosing to DANCE to that chaos.
And I’m going to NOTICE what happens in my body when I start to feel like I am not in control. I’m going to notice how it FEELS to have fun, and how it FEELS to stay true to myself in the midst of the fun. I’m going to notice when I get distracted.
I’m choosing to LOVE the crap out of my distractible, hyper focused, totally wild and creative brain. It’s actually kind of awesome to have 5000 different ideas floating around all at once.
Medication? Hell no!
(and I’m totally okay with you opting for meds, it’s your brain, you do what works for you)
Because, this is where Goddess Tool #2 comes in.
Yoga is about attuning to your body, and it is the central practice in all of the Goddess Within work.
Of course, many people (including myself, until quite recently) practice yoga differently. Yes, body awareness comes with the territory. But, body sensitivity is less common.
What happens when you practice yoga with the intention of sensitizing to your body? To the way that your nervous system responds to postures, breath and movement?
What happens when the purpose of your practice is to FEEL everything, and to notice when something isn’t feeling good?
When you’ve missed your mark with a pose, when your body is telling you that something is off?
What happens when you notice you are not feeling grounded, when you are working too hard, when something hurts or when you have hit an edge of mobility.?
And, in that moment, instead of pushing through...
You stay with the noticing, and THAT becomes the practice.
This is how we learn how to “feel”. We notice what is TRUE in the moment, we notice what is actually happening and we FEEL it.
We notice where we are, instead of thinking about where we want to be.
What if yoga was about “I am” instead of “ I should”?
This is why I include gentle yoga practice in the Goddess Within teachings. Getting into your body is an extremely effective way of showing your mind true empowerment.
When I understand the feeling of being grounded in my body, it is much easier to be grounded off the mat.
When I understand a single point of focus on the mat, I can notice when I am not focused off the mat.
When I can FEEL my body on the mat, I can FEEL my body off the mat.
When I know my body, I know myself.
And so, if someone tells me that my chakras are “out of alignment", or I am not flowing energy properly, or that I’m “wild and out of control”... I have the wisdom to FEEL that reality in my body.
When you are sensitive to your body, you are empowered to know what is TRUE for YOU!
I don’t see myself as wild and out of control anymore. I know I have that pattern and I can feel it coming on when it is.
Feeling your body empowers you to make the choices that are right for you! That power belongs to you, and you can totally ROCK it!
You’ll know when a yes is a true YES.
You’ll know when you are falling into self-destructive patterns & habits.
You’ll know when STRESS is happening.
You’ll know what is true for you and from that truth you have the power to make choices that result in you feeling the way you WANT to feel.
Yoga is that powerful.
Yoga + INTENSE self love practices + me, cheering you on = POWERFUL TRANSFOMATION POTENTIAL
Just as a little aside: My partner and I rebuilt and are continually building our relationship that dissolved four years ago. We were married almost two years ago, and yoga has been instrumental in our journey of healing together. I also want to say that he is my biggest supporter, and always has been. He was the impetus behind the Goddess Within work, “Honey, you need a thing, a workshop, a project”. And he said to me last night, as I read to him from my Money Love journal, “I believe in you, I’m fully confident that you can do this work”. (by the way, having a support buddy is SO IMPORTANT! )
If you want to begin sensitizing yourself to your body today, try this practice:
Sit or lie down in a quiet room. Close your eyes and take a couple of deep, long, slow breaths. Then tune in to your body.
Notice if you are relaxed or tense. Try to relax.
Notice the emotions you are feeling. Can you move the emotions from your mind into your body with the breath? Visualize your inhale breath moving your emotions from your mind into your body from the top of your head, and letting it wash into your body. Let your exhale breath tickle upwards along your spine back to the top of your head. Notice where the emotions take hold in your body and feel the emotions there. Notice how the sensations & feelings can shift, move, or even dissolve.
Then tune in and notice any sensations you are feeling in your body. As you feel a sensation, speak it out loud. Stay with this for as long as you would like, speaking aloud any sensations that you are feeling. Describe them. “I feel a tingle in my left shoulder”, “I feel a dullness in my lower back” etc...
End by relaxing completely. Thank your body for communicating with you.
***Please know that all experiences, even ones different from how I described this meditation, are valid, normal and totally okay! If you have questions, need clarification, or want to work more deeply with me through one on one coaching - don’t hesitate to reach out.***