This is a post I began in January and am now picking up again at the beginning of March:
I am unapologetic about the fact that I LOVE a fresh New Year to begin all over again (it surprises even me, with my melancholic tendencies, that I should be such a die-hard optimist). I can already feel the look of superiority on those cynics’ faces, letting me know what a fool’s paradise I’m stepping into yet again. I mean, did those New Year’s Resolutions EVER work out?
This year, however, something shifted. I think that in previous years I may have timidly knocked on the Universe’s door: “Excuse me, if it isn’t too much trouble, could I please have X, Y, Z this year?”
This year, I stepped out boldly and claimed my spot. And I don’t want to knock my previous attempts. They all led me to this place. This place where all the messes, the wrong turns, the “mistakes”, my more-than-human failings, my false starts (I could really get into that one) and procrastinating ploys.
And then I slammed into a wall of doubt, despair and darkness (do all words conveying doom start with the letter “d”?), which had me go in a completely different direction altogether. My early newfound optimism was ignited by signing up for yet another one of those webinars that promise untold riches and success in one’s business. It felt like the right thing to do even though paying for it felt like a stretch. And I WAS inspired. However, that’s not the plan that my soul had for me. I got unusually (for me) sick with the flu and in that physically and emotionally weakened state, I backtracked, felt overwhelmed and ended up canceling the program (it happened to have a 30 day money-back guarantee). I was not prepared for the emotional downward spiral that was to follow. I felt like I was grieving the loss of a lover or child (inner), and for several days dragged myself around as if I had experienced the death of someone close to me.
As usual, after the dense fog of this particular emotional episode burned itself out (in case you haven’t noticed, this seems to be the way I process my life), here are the things I learned about myself and would like to share:
- I suffer from “shiny object syndrome”. This speaks of always looking outside of myself for that new thing that will “fix” my life.
- Being inspired is an important and desirable thing, but hyped-up inspiration is only sustainable for so long and becomes like an addiction – always chasing the high to just to feel alive and “important” (read: worthy)
- Searching outside of myself for answers continues to speak of the fact that there is work to do in terms of listening to myself and finding the motivation and affirmation within.
- This journey, which began with my addiction around food, continues to be an exploration for my own personal truth, which includes trusting my own timing when it comes to accomplishing my dreams.
- It’s interesting to be aware of all the different ways I like to reach out to “alter my mood” in order to not face uncomfortable feelings about myself. These include: caffeine, alcohol, reaching for the occasional cigarette, signing up for new courses or free webinars (I am the “Infusionsoft Queen”), fantasizing about being on a beach, fantasizing about “fixing” my life in general.
- I’m not saying that the New Thought adage “Heal Your Thoughts, Heal Your Life” is a bad one, it’s just that it can be used as a spiritual bypass to something that might reveal an even richer truth about oneself.
- Particularly in addiction, it can be so easy to translate the judgement of dysfunctional behavior into deep shame and I believe it is that embedded shame that can perpetuate the cycle of self-loathing and despair which can lead to more destructive behaviors/using (or, at best, a life of white-knuckle control that allows for little else, including joy).
I would like to propose the more Buddhist approach that the American female Buddhist nun Pema Chödrön writes about in her book “Comfortable With Uncertainty”. Buddhism has always attracted me in theory. However, in practice, my way of interfacing with it can trigger feelings of inadequacy, extreme awareness of my human failings, self-judgement and, let’s not forget, rebellion. But if I stop long enough (ironically embracing one of the most Buddhist of concepts), there is something very juicy to be had.
She talks about the practice of refraining.
[Refraining] is the quality of not grabbing for entertainment the minute we feel a slight edge of boredom coming on. It’s the practice of not immediately filling up space just because there’s a gap……Through refraining , we see that there’s something between the arising of the craving – or the aggression or the loneliness or whatever it might be – and whatever action we take as a result. There’s something in us that we don’t want to experience, and we never do experience, because we’re so quick to act. The practice of mindfulness and refraining is a way to get in touch with basic groundlessness – by noticing how we try to avoid it.
Pema Chödrön – “Comfortable with Uncertainty”
So let us graciously and compassionately, pause just long enough to experience that moment of discomfort (even for a nanosecond) that may just be the door that we were looking for THROUGH the insurmountable wall of our limitations. And let’s laugh, cry, share and even rage about our humanness and celebrate (not shame) the richness of our experience.
Please share any of your own rich stories of humanness in your life either by replying at the bottom of this post or emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NEWS AROUND TOWN
Yet another jewelry workshop was offered by Soul Piece Jewelry, this time called: “Seed of Potential Workshop”. It was a rich experience of women gathering, exploring, creating, laughing and being present to themselves. And it even was attended by a couple of infants!! Here’s what one of the participants wrote beautifully on Facebook afterward the event:
Much gratitude and love to Titina van Hoorn Zuberbuhler, for holding the space for Seeds of Potential today in her studio. As my earlier post states, I went into the experience with an intention. These are the three pendants I made today from a ball of silver clay. There is a spiritual transformation that takes place when mind, body and soul and spirit unite to create a reminder of our life’s journey and to remain on that path. Seeds of Potential. I have planted my seed and now I shall watch it emerge into being. The pendant to the left represented vision, in the middle is masculine & feminine, and on the right is my seed. Yes, I suppose I can be a little hippie sometimes, embrace it or better yet, wear it proudly on your chest.
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Titina van Hoorn is a Life Coach, jeweler, artist, Reiki practitioner whose passion is to help others step into their rich and authentic selves so they can express it fully in their lives.
To book a free consultation “soul” session, email her at: email@example.com