Vulnerability

‘Vulnerable’ is derived from the Latin word vulnerabilis  which means “to wound.” Wow! No wonder we so often avoid being or feeling vulnerable at all costs. Recently, it came to my attention that to be or feel vulnerable can feel like standing on the tracks in front of a freight train; to be vulnerable can feel like imminent death.

To avoid feeling vulnerable, I have tried to do control as much about myself, my environment and even others or situations. For instance, when out in public, when I can, I avoid sitting with my back to the door or anyone for that matter.

To trust is to feel vulnerable, so I do my best to avoid that, too. Yet, this keeps me from being where I want to be. It is my desire to be completely open and myself – unfiltered – to do so, I must step up, be vulnerable and step WAY out of my comfort zone! Ultimately, it is the willingness to be vulnerable that allows us to move into our greatness.

Interestingly, I’m writing this on the very day that the scheduled post, The Antidote to Fear which lead to my riding many tsunami waves of fear, most of which were labeled vulnerability. At times, I even fell – literally and figuratively – to my knees and asked for help from my Higher Power. This is something I talked about here, on YouTube. (this is my new project, Self-Care by Cara, and it’s still under construction. please don’t mind the dust and rough looking thumbnails lol)

I also recorded and uploaded this silly YouTube, something which was both fun to do and also made me feel rather vulnerable to share here!

Prayers for all to release the binds that hold us back.

Namaste

P.S. I wanted to create some fancy title for this post and somehow the single word vulnerability being there on it’s own is just the impact that is needed. For me, vulnerability can feel just like that: feeling all alone.

The Antidote to Fear

When we bury, push against or deny our fears, we ultimately give them more power. Our fears then unconsciously control us, keeping us from peace. That is, until we choose to face our fears. Our willingness to face our fears is the first step.

Fear is held in place by holding our breaths, and contracting when the emotion reads its head; whether we’re gripping the fear, pushing it away or hiding from it.

But everything exposed by the light becomes visible–and everything that is illuminated becomes a light.

~Ephesians 5:13

You see the antidote to fear is light. When we allow the fears to surface, while breathing and allowing the emotions to move through us, we release our fears. To face our fears means to walk into the very places we have avoided, to open sealed doors and allow the emotion to move into the light. It is then that it can move through us and away from us.

While breathing and feeling where your body is physically supported:

  • Acknowledge the fear – open the closet doors where it has been hiding
  • Keep breathing while you allow the fear to move through you
  • This may cause you to feel physically, mentally and emotionally uncomfortable. Please stay with the breath and where your body is physically supported
  • The emotions will then move through and release you from its grip. When this happens, you will feel a great sense of peace.
  • Do your best to allow this process to unfold, this will bring you a greater freedom from your fears when you do.

Know that healing happens in layers. This same feeling may come back again to be revisited and released on a deeper level. As much as you can allow the process, the faster you can return to peace. When we question what we’re feeling, we’re questioning our own experience and creating conflict within ourselves.

When we are at war with ourselves, no one wins.

Fear is an emotion. Emotions are energy. They only get stuck when we don’t allow them to be. Facing our fears frees ourselves and others.

Namaste

Image: Inner Conflict by Koby Feldmos

Meet Creative Life Coach, Sam

At different times in our lives, we need a helping hand (or two or more) to help us to grow. In the past, I’ve shared my experiences with how life coaches have helped me in “letting go” and today I’d like to introduce you to my creative life coach, Sam!

I’ve worked with Sam for over a year now on how to expand my creativity. She has helped me to face many of my internal barriers to expressing and being myself. I’m now poised to introduce new avenues of expression that I’ve been working on. (Well, at least in the next month or so, I hope).

There has been an ongoing unfolding of the fears that have kept me from being myself. She was also behind my post on facing my fear of heights. My current assignment may be the toughest yet, ironically, it’s my fear of being my playful self.

I hope you will take the time to check out her site and even to take the leap and contact her. With all she’s helped me through, I’m confident she will be able to help you, too!

Sam, Creative Life Coach

Namaste

This Life is Yours, Embrace It

Each detail of your life is yours to live. It was created just for you (maybe even by you), so that you can learn how to love you. Yet we resist this, don’t we? We each want the wheat, on some level, without having to deal with the chaff. Yet it is within the hard shell (and not outside of it) that we find the seeds of our soul.

This life is ours to live. Each detail: the good, the bad, the ugly. So often we grasp onto what was or some ideal of what we want it to be, that we miss that our power is in the now.

In allowing (and even loving) where we are right now, without blocking it, or how we feel about it, or trying to change it, we open ourselves to new and higher levels of being.

What we resist persists. When we block our emotions, they create within us a battle, a civil war. This creates a stress response and we either fight with or flee from our own energy. Wow! Doesn’t that sound completely exhausting? So where are you blocking your own personal sun from shining?

Where do you “kick the can down the street,” saying to yourself you’ll get to it later or another day?  If not now, then when? Please trust that these words I’m saying to you, I’m shouting at myself. 

It takes the sun, the rain, the earth and the wind to make trees mighty. Where are you shirking your duties?

Namaste

Escaping from the Prison of Perfection

Some of us believe that if we do everything right, or just so, that we can be more happy. That to be in control of our emotions, our thoughts and our actions will lead to greater riches or success. The truth is that perfectionism ends up controlling us and keeps us locked in a prison of our own making.

The escape hatch is within our grasp. It is in identifying the underlying fear that drives us to feel that we must control the external aspects of our lives. The key to the lock is understanding that the freedom and bliss is in letting go of our grasp on the need to control our realities.

When we attempt to control or manipulate the world around us, and the people in our worlds, we essentially place ourselves into a prison of our own making. Our belief in our ability to be happy and free then becomes entangled in what the world and everybody else is (or isn’t) doing. With this external focus, we give away our rights and access to our own peace; for it is in focusing within, on the messages carried within our own hearts, that we find our freedom.

Breaking free of perfection means becoming aware of where we feel we need to block our emotions, to control others, to rush from one activity to another or to rush to complete the next deadline and where we feel afraid to spread into new territories. It means taking off the mask that says, “I am more than human.” It means being moved by our emotions to spread our wings into the winds that carry us into new territories: within and also outside of ourselves.

I write this during a time where I am expanding by breaking small controlling habits by parking in a different place everyday, wearing clothes that are unusual for me, driving to work in different ways, and leading more by example.

And as a human, I’m making many effing mistakes. However, with each detour I also see life from a different view. I’m willing to be more accepting of my emotions and passions.

I also write this at a time where I have seriously stalled on a new project that just a few weeks ago I found great joy and excitement in creating. In some ways, I don’t feel I’m good enough to move forward with it. Not everything is right and so I’ve become stagnant.

While I have expanded in some areas, I’m at a contracted standstill in others. To contract is to hold on while letting go of control is to open into new ways of living and expressing. To “make mistakes” leads to new discoveries. This is something I’ve found here with the blog, now to allow what skill in my new project.

So now I ask of you: What project might be stalled out for you because of your feelings of inadequacy, that you’re not ready, that you don’t have what it takes? Or just simply put, your need for perfection and control? Or maybe a fear of making mistakes? They are all quite similar, indeed.

What are other areas in your life where you can allow for greater expansion? It’s important in some ways to push our own boundaries. This is called growth. To continually contract and hold on is to stagnate.

Please, will you join me in expanding into new territories?

Namaste

Creating Emotional Boundaries

Emote means to move. Emotions are meant to move us, to propel us; to keep us moving. Yet, we can have difficulty separating our emotions from ourselves. We can begin to believe that we are our emotions. This is not the case. Just as our cars are not the fuel they run on, we are not the emotions that move through us, nor that we grasp and hold onto to and “save for another time.”

Emotions are energy. Just as we wouldn’t do well to hold onto an electrical line, it doesn’t support us to hold onto our emotions nor to suppress them nor to allow ourselves to become them. In so doing, we stagnate in some way.

To gain a healthy boundary with our emotions, we must learn and practice activating the witness within. There are different instructions and I find the following is the imagery that has worked best for me. You may find others descriptions more helpful and meaningful. I encourage you to find or develop the analogy that works best for you!

Imagine you can seat your awareness/consciousness in a saddle or a captain’s chair that is both between your eyes, and back towards the center of your brain. From here, see your emotions (and life) as a movie. In this space we acknowledge the emotions, we see them, yet we are not pulled under by them.

It is such a freeing practice and one that is best practiced as frequently as possible!

Namaste

Healing The Roots of Despair

In talking with my mother about the culture of the county in which she was raised, which I only visited as a child, I have come to a new understanding of some of my habits. It frightens me to be publicly recognized for my achievements. Actually, that applies to any recognition, even one-on-one.

Compliments are not something that I find easy to receive. My mind focuses on where things “could have been better.” While this mindset pushes me to do better, it also thwarts my ability to feel at ease or at peace with … just about everything in my life.

Where my mom grew up, those who “had more” or who “looked pretty” were targeted by others … there was a culture of rape and a fair amount of lawlessness. So anyone who “had,” could be expected to have something taken.

The effects of this culture meant people were, out of fear, generous in giving to others and also in putting down their own achievements. It was better to be pitied (at least people would “bless your heart”) than to be seen as having something that someone else wanted.

So here I sit with this awareness. Seeing how complicated it can be to feel comfortable with being at peace or even happy. Softening into the fear, shining the light of my awareness on why happiness has scared me, aside from brief glimpses. Slowly, the fear begins to melt.

Within a metta meditation, I send love back up the ancestral lines, and the community that brought this fear into being. May all beings be at peace.

Namaste

Allowing the Transformation

It is in allowing, instead of fighting against the shackles, that we set ourselves free.

It can be a challenge to have patience when we’ve decided to make changes in our lives. We often move from status quo to “green light go, go, go” in .24 seconds. When we push to have the changes take place, we create greater resistance as we are actually acting out of fear. When we rush we also ignore the parts of us that are holding back and not ready for the new. Out of fear we begin to create and new obstacles come into play.

As much of a challenge as it can be to do, once we decide to take those steps we must sit back and wait for the next steps to unfold; much like a rose. When we rush and push, we will be unable to hear the small quiet voice within giving us our next steps or instructions. Breathing into the need to push, leaning into it, and allowing it to exist, helps us in our transformation.

Here is a prime example. After a break up, I wanted to “be okay” with everything and to no longer be upset at him, myself, and the circumstances behind the broken relationship. Pushing to be better “right now” only resulted in my frustration growing larger and further blocking my ability to think and act clearly. Finally, I recognized what I was doing to myself: pushing past my own limits and leaving the broken pieces of me to fend for themselves.

When I find myself doing this, I find it best to do the following sequence:

  • Sit quietly (at least mentally) and allow as many of the painful emotions to surface as able. Take note of where they reside in the body.
  • Return to the center, and feel the mantra, “I am willing to love myself as God does, infinitely.”
  • By repeatedly breathing this intention into the restricted spaces within, the tempest falls apart with each mindful breath.
  • “Rinse and repeat” when the tempest returns, begin the process again.

While I’ve still not reached my final resolution, I’ve reached a greater sense of peace and calm in the midst of this tempest. When it begins to read its head up again, I return to this sequence; it is the path to freedom. For it is in allowing, instead of fighting against the shackles, that we set ourselves free.

Namaste

Are We There Yet?! Hiking at Half-Pace

To force the flower to blossom is to destroy its petals.

IMG_2275.jpgThis is my favorite time of year to hike. I love the lushness and fresh green of everything during spring. It gives me new hope of the things to come. Yet, on this day I noticed something different: the intent of my hike was to de-stress and I was rushing!

It was as if I were on a mission or death march. It was as if my internal cruise control had gotten stuck at 90 mph. The life events of April 2018 were in my rear view and yet they were still driving me, pushing me to keep moving. Don’t stop. Rush. March. Plod forward. Go. Now. 

I had begun to question my need to rush through the hike when I saw two snails on a tree. It was as if they were telling me I was needing to follow their lead…so it was then that I slowed down my pace. I imagined I moved with the grace of nature’s pace.

 

IMG_2279.jpgSoon after, I also chose to be as present as I could, to more fully receive each stimulus of my senses: to drink in with my eyes the beauty of the forest, even of the needle and leaf liter, with my feet to feel the sponginess and give of the ground, and with my ears to hear the song birds belting out tunes. Now as I type, I can remember and feel more than I would have, had I kept up with the death march.

 

 

As I look back, I see where I haven’t wanted to accept my life as it has been. Rushing wasn’t about the hike, it has been about where I am in life. I see where I have been rushing to get to the next level, and in doing so, I’ve been wasting energy on things that cannot be affected nor rushed, much like the blossoming of a flower. Today, I recognize that right now, this is where I am; like it or not. So what is the point of all of this struggle?

IMG_2292.jpg

These are lessons I’ve learned previously and much like the decaying tree, it’s all the same material – just now viewed at a new depth.

 

Namaste’

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