Exposing & Accepting Imperfections

Much of the first half of my life was spent hiding my perceived flaws and imperfections, even from myself. While it helped me to survive childhood, I’ve found that hiding was keeping me miserable. Through unmasking myself, blogging has gifted me with connecting with others who have also suffered by hiding their perceived flaws. It also helps me gain a new level of understanding by writing the process out further than I would in a paper journal, where I would most likely just vent. Finally, I have found there is transformative power within vulnerability for everyone.

What I share here are personal experiences which more often than not leave me feeling vulnerable in posting. These are first-hand experiences of what I’ve learned through exposing my flaws, often in day-to-day interactions that lead to a new understanding or awareness.

For instance, in the post The Right to Exist, I shared an experience I had that I would have avoided altogether in the past by either not going to such a busy place at a busy time or parking way out of the way to better suit others. Instead, I chose to go there during Starbuck’s morning rush hour and park where it was convenient for me, so that I could meet my needs for a meal. In the process, I also calmly stood up for my right to be there to the person who very rudely cussed at me; all things I’d have avoided before.

In its rawness, this incident allowed me to more clearly see where I and others have not felt the right to exist and take up space. Even though I’ve made many strides in the past 4+ years, I’ve come to recognize that this may well be an ongoing healing theme for me throughout the remainder of my life; a theme that is overcome by degrees. Yet I fully intend to keep chiseling away at it by continuing to live more and more authentically, exposing myself especially where I feel vulnerable.

In a recent dream, Christ showed me where our cracks are actually our strengths. With this in mind, I end with the following prayer:

May we each see our imperfections in a new way, for in exposing our vulnerabilities, we each can benefit by reaching new levels of potential by living life more authentically, by connecting more deeply with others through our shared courage and through supporting each other in living our individual truths. In living through our truths, we set ourselves free.

Namaste

Coming Soon: Wabi-Sabi: Imperfect Perfection

Growth Follows Grief

Grief is often seen as a roadblock to growth. More often than not, we get stuck in grief by pushing it away or sinking into it. The analogy I now see is that grief is like driving on loose sand; to struggle against it, we can get further trapped. To stop all together, we sink further into it. However, when allowed, grief can also bring forth a new level of growth. Just as with driving on loose sand, when we allow a gentle, steady movement, then we can keep going and grief becomes an engine for expansion. Driving on loose sand is also easier when we let some air out of our tires, another form of expansion, right?

What happens when people open their hearts? They get better.
Haruki Murakami

For several days now I’ve had a song stuck in my mind. The same lyrics haunting me at various times throughout the day. It is a song about loss, it seems an unrequited love after a woman’s death. The song also touches on incomplete grief, memories, and how the songwriter grasps at taking back control of his life through understanding the need to move through and past his grief.

I’ve attempted to block the song from my mind, have meditated on it, and finally just listened to it on repeat with lyrics and allowed the emotions to flow through. In allowing without pushing, without fretting over “why am I stuck here, again?” or without immersing myself into the feelings, they have moved through. Now I’m seeing where a new layer of understanding and growth has come through.

May we each allow the grief process to unfold, so that we may move into a new level of freedom. 

Namaste

P.S. Many life transitions can trigger the grief process and navigating through it can be difficult to do alone. Life coaches and counselors can help us with using tools to get ourselves unstuck. Please reach out, you are NOT alone; even though that’s often what it feels like. Find your strength through your vulnerability.

Be the Light

We are here to be the light to show others the way out of the darkness. It is through greater self-acceptance and love that we bring more light into this world. Fear blocks the light and masks keep the light hidden.

Judgment is a form of fear that blocks the light from shining through us. It keeps us from feeling whole and complete, and thus we feel unworthy. To acknowledge our judgments, we can see them differently and release them. Releasing our attachments to judgment allows us to feel whole, bringing us into a greater connection with others and our Higher Power.

Masks are the faces we wear to hide our judgments against ourselves and others; where we hide what we are feeling or who we are to feel more accepted. Yet, masks prevent us from feeling whole or holy, preventing us from reaching our Highest Potential.

It is in our vulnerability, through removing the masks, the shame, the guilt, and the judgments that we connect more deeply with ourselves and others. When we take a moment to love and forgive ourselves, we are able to see our perceived mistakes and shortcomings as the very things that help us to connect with others. In seeing ourselves as we are, we can see others.

May we each be more loving, forgiving and accepting of ourselves; being the light. In so doing, we show others the way.

Namaste

Tiffany’s Epiphanies: The Benefits of Shared Vulnerability

I hesitated to share my angst during the dark night of the soul that I mentioned in “Cleaning House for Clarity.” Yet, I felt like I was quickly drowning and knew I needed a lifeline. I messaged 3 close friends and requested they hold me in the light. In sharing my vulnerability and my need for help, I was able to feel connected during a time when I  would have felt all alone, a time when I’m less likely to reach out for help, too. Some of my friends also opened up to share some of their own experiences. This enhanced our connections and also helped me to gain faster insights.

The next day at work, one of my clients asked me if I was okay. She could tell I was “off.” I hesitated again, and the little voice of reason urged me to share, “maybe she has something for you,” it whispered. Well, it was right. She shared with me the TED Talk that I believe helped me to break the enchantment spell I seemed to have cast over myself. This then lead me to more epiphanies, including the one to finally start the series called Tiffany’s Epiphanies!

If I had kept these scary naked moments to myself, it may have taken me longer to re-emerge. Worse yet, I may still be stuck in that darkness. Instead, here I am sharing in the hopes that you, too, will begin to reach out and trust that others are able to help you through. In our shared vulnerability, we have a greater ability to connect more strongly with others. The converse also seems to hold true, in not reaching out when we feel vulnerable, we miss the opportunity to connect more deeply with others.

May we each begin to trust our intuition more than our fears by reaching out when we feel most vulnerable, trusting in the deepening connections we create when we do.

Namaste

Learning to Receive

We have been taught to be fiercely independent, to do as much as we can to prove ourselves worthy. I see this often with new moms who are literally juggling a baby, baby equipment and busy schedules; wanting to do everything with minimal to no help. Yet, in reality, none of us can be truly independent. We rely on others for medicine, food, roads, cars, phones, utilities and public service. How does this desire to be fiercely independent serve us? Better yet, does it?

Honestly, I believe this need to prove ourselves is borne out of fear. We do not feel ourselves worthy to receive from others, and we do not want to rely on others to be there when we need them. In fact, I believe this fierce independence is a reaction to being afraid to receive love. For to rely on others and to receive their love leaves us feeling vulnerable. Yet, how can we expect to open our hands and our hearts if we cannot tolerate vulnerability?

Yes, you can also argue that you don’t want to be indebted to anyone. I get it. I’ve lived it. Yet, sometimes others receive joy when they give to others. When we block the sharing from someone else, we prevent them from receiving their own joy through sharing. So in this case is it really more selfish to block the receiving of blessings, or is it more selfish to receive?

Having been a mother with her hands filled with babies and baby related things, I remember how exhausting it was to feel like I had to do it all. One day, someone held open the door for me and I allowed it. Since that day, I have been more open to receiving help from others. No one is ever truly alone. So why keep pushing away the help that others want to give? Why fear receiving love, receiving help, or feeling vulnerable?

May we each become a little more vulnerable today, allowing more love into our hearts, receiving what is meant to be. 

Namaste

Overcoming Indecision: A Tool for Path Finding

When unsure which path to take, one of the tools I have found very helpful to gain clarity is quite simple and effective. In fact, this is such a simple tool that it can be easily forgotten or even overlooked. So often we believe that complex situations require complex solutions, which keeps us stuck when we overlook something as simple as this body compass. Really, a compass is a quite simple device when we think about it, yet it can help us to circumnavigate the globe. 

In a relatively quiet space, feel into the soles of your feet. Allow yourself to become more fully present in your body. Feel yourself as you breathe in and breathe out. Place one or two hands on your heart as you simply imagine the various options you have been considering. Allow yourself to fully feel what your body is telling you. Trust what you feel as your body is telling you which path to choose.

Let’s say you’re trying to choose between turning left or right. See yourself in the car turning left. What do I feel when I turn left? Then see yourself in the car turning right. What do I feel when I turn right? Allow the signals from your heart and your body to show you which path is correct for you at this time by which one feels better.

Simply put: Follow your bliss by feeling your True North… and trust yourself to show you what is best for you at this time.

May we each appreciate the truth within our hearts and bodies; trusting that we know how to meet our own needs. 

Namaste

Seizing the Moment

How often do we miss fully immersing ourselves in the beauty of the present moment because our minds or our bodies are elsewhere?

Today, I am literally composing this post while my toes are dipping into the calm waters near the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. Yet, my mind is dwelling on the past or looking to the future. While I am more present now in my mind and body than I have ever been, I see where I’m holding tension in areas such as my neck and solar plexus.

Allowing this tension the space to breathe, I see where I fear being fully present. Somewhere I’ve told myself that being alive and being right here, right now, is unsafe. I block my gut with my muscles as if to armor up against the “other shoe dropping.” I concern myself with silly things such as trying to be sure I have the right saying.

This awareness brings a new softening. As it is in allowing the fears to have light shed upon them that they begin to abate. Once we see that what we’ve been thinking subconsciously is not the truth then we set ourselves free. We are free to enjoy life the way it is meant to be: more and more fully.

So I’ll sit here for a few moments more as the waves lick at my feet, taking away what is no longer meant to be…and bringing to me exactly what I need in this moment: a new sense of peace.

May we each find more of the gifts meant for us by being more fully present. May we shed the old beliefs which no longer serve us so that we may more fully receive exactly what we’re meant to receive: joy, peace and abundance beyond our wildest dreams.

Namaste

The Rise After The Fall: Having Fun While Overcoming Fears Part II

Last weekend, I went “surfing” again. This time I took along a friend who was inspired by my surfing story because she, too, had had a fear of “deep water.” She said that she would try surfing if she had a friend to go with her. So we gave it a go!

While the waves were somewhat small, we were having to fight rather hard to get past the “white water” to the surf line. There was a storm off the coast and the waves were fair to choppy and the sets were close together to where we were hit by another wave just after recovering from the wave before – it was as if we were treading water on surfboards!

The storm system was also creating “rogue” waves from time to time that would break much earlier than the others. Well, one grabbed hold of me and took me straight to the sandbar. Once I hit the bottom, the wave tumbled me much like a pebble.

What was amazing for me? Instead of feeling any sense of danger or fear for my life, I felt a sense of peace that everything was going to be alright. This is really, really huge for me. I feel I need to restate it: this is really, really huge for me. I had an inner knowing of peace, calm and that all would be okay. It was. When the Atlantic Ocean released her grip, I was literally on my feet without any real effort to get there.

The fighting to get past the whitewater had worn me out, especially since I was still recovering from feeling quiet worn out from my workweek. So I did not feel like fighting the waves anymore. Instead, I retrieved my board (via the leash) and caught a wave that safely took me all the way to the shoreline.

This surfing adventure was a new level to my understanding of Spirituality. Sometimes life takes us down to the bottom, yet by surrendering and being in trust, we can quickly rise back up. When we stop fighting the forces, we can easily get back to our peace. 

This analogy also works emotionally and physically. It was in fighting that I wore myself out. It was in allowing that I was set free of my fears. It was in faith that I knew all would be okay, and I’ve used that analogy of being the pebble when a “life wave” takes me under and threatens to overwhelm me. Then it is in allowing that I was given rest, reprieve and the greatest leap forward.

Namaste

Shift Happens: What do you do?

Just as the tides ebb and flow, life is meant to move so that we can grow. When the sands beneath your feet begin to shift, what do you do?

Do you tighten your grip?

Do you let go and trust?

If you’re like me, the first thing you want to do is to dig in, deep. However, with time, I’m learning to relax my grip sooner rather than later; allowing the tides to shift without getting all bent.

What I’m beginning to see, again and again, is that regardless of my fear and gripping that changes unfold accordingly. So what is the purpose of holding on to something I cannot truly influence, anyway?!

Being grounded and being present are helpful when sudden shifts hit. Feeling into the body, any physical sensations can help you to be more present.

Ongoing resilience can be built through meditation and allowing of emotions. While these strategies do not change the life circumstances per se, they can help us to be more flexible when the shifts occur. With greater resilience, we learn to gain trust and grip less.

Just as light, sound and water travel in waves, in life we have ups and downs as a natural ebb and flow of our energies. We will move or be moved. The sands beneath our feet will shift. How we choose to respond can affect how well we shift into the emerging energies. So will you fight it or allow it?

Namaste

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