There was this piece of me—a young, vulnerable, desperate piece of me—who begged for someone to finally just tell me who the hell I was supposed to be, or do, or what my life was supposed to be about. Every time life intensified, waves of hysteria would swell from deep within me, the fear that I’d get it wrong… that I couldn’t trust myself to know what was true for me. I felt terrified that, without external guidance, my life would be wasted.
But then I started to explore what one of my early teachers called “the spirituality of the self”. I studied the way I reacted to the world around me, the way I allowed certain relationships, circumstances, and experiences to affect me. I learned I was powerful, far more powerful than I’d ever imagined, and that I could change reality by changing the way I was showing up in the world. In time, I released what no longer served me and made space for my truth to become my life. The artist, the lover, the priestess, the mother, the healer, the dancer, the writer . . . one discovery at a time, I hosted a reunion of the pieces of my soul.
This transformation was possible because of the supports I cultivated for myself along the way. My blog is an extension of my journals. I use it to share the lessons I’ve learned, powerful resources, and inspiring stories of my clients’ transformations. Dig in and find the information and inspiration you need today and keep coming back when you need another dose! If you can’t find what you’re looking for, email me your question and I’ll see what I can find for you.
“Prepare them to travel lightly through what lies ahead by releasing attachments to things and old wounds.”
(Slow down. Take a deep breath and read that sentence again. Maybe even a few times. This message is important. If it sparks something inside of you, keep reading, figure out what you need, and do it.)
I’ve been saying this for five years. Five years. This week is the beginning of what lies ahead. Yes, I said the **beginning** and I mean it. We must heal our homes and hearts in order to be free enough to be what we came into this world to be. We must prepare ourselves, so we can do what this election made clear we are going to have to do.
What is it we have to do? There are many, many wise ones who are prepared to lead us to the political and social action now required. I’m not them but they are rising up now and we’re seeing it all around us. We must find the ones who resonate for us and let them lead us to the action that is TRUE and purpose-aligned for each of us as individuals.
I’m writing today because I’m clear about my role in all of this. Many people are finding me and my ideas for the first time (and others who’ve been around are paying more attention). I need to speak into My Thing clearly, so that you will know if it resonates for you. (Because if it doesn’t, FIND YOUR PEOPLE!) If you know your purpose and you’re ready to roll, go do that. The world is waiting for you.
If you feel confused about your purpose in all of this, or if you feel too stuck to take action, then my gig is to help you release the barriers within and around you, so you can go rock Your Thing.
Here’s my way: We need space in our lives to figure out and move into alignment with the one we came to this planet to be. To connect with our tribe, to serve and support minorities and marginalized people, we have to feel FREE to be ourselves. To rise up and make our country a safe place for everyone, to be able to support ourselves and our families, we have to release our attachment (obsession?) to things. To be who we long to be, who we came here to be, we have to heal the thousand old heartbreaks that cultivate the emotional intensity that nearly consumed us this week
(These months? These years? I can’t even tell when all of this fear and hatred and corruption started eating us alive. Privileged, I know. Fear has been eating us alive since from the beginning of “us” and it took me too long to figure it out but I’m waking up, too.)
Our old way of life–the chaos and overwhelm, the extreme self-sacrifice, living in reaction instead of heart-centered action, the fear, and old wounds that keep us from living our truth–must be over now. This is the call to a personal revolution, a call to change the way we show up in our own lives, so we can be clear and confident and FREE enough to do what needs to be done for our selves, families, communities, country, and the world.
(I know. This is big. Focus. You were made for this.)
There is no more time for waiting. The time is now. We can feel the pressure in our hearts. The weight of misalignment turns our stomachs. We can no longer pretend that there’s time to tend to our bullshittery on a more convenient day, the never-gonna-come day after everything everybody else needs gets done.
SPACE HEALING is the first step, taking back our homes. It opens us to heal the HEART HEALING, releasing the emotional triggers tied to old wounds. That work frees us to say yes to our life purpose, the individual CALL to action that makes our hearts ache for a meaningful life.
I know it feels too hard but is not too hard. We are never called to be something we cannot be. I promise you that this is possible. There is a way, a healing journey, that you haven’t heard about before. I wrote it down, the space healing piece at least (below) and I’m writing the triggers book now. I teach workshops (also below). Hell, if we can figure out how to finance it, I’ll come to your house and help you myself.
This has to happen. We have to be able to say YES to our truth.
I believe in you and it’s time for you to believe in yourself.
Here are the ways I can support you:
1. Buy “Is Home Your Happy Place?” now and start reading.
2. PM or email me through the contact page of the website above if you want in the next workshop. I’m working on dates for the next one, as I can see that this must happen again STAT.
3. If you’re a local in Minneapolis, Spirit Gatherings are a deeply healing and helpful place to begin. Attend a community SG or contact me about hosting one yourself. You can learn more here: http://theunrulywoman.com/pages/spirit_gathering.php
4. Schedule a private session for support with space healing or triggers or whatever else has you paralyzed. (We simply cannot stay paralyzed anymore.) I’m here. You deserve support.
5. Also, you can “like” (and choose to receive notifications) this page on FB for inspiration and information moving forward.
Also, thank you for sharing anything that resonates for you. Together, we are stronger.
**This is the beginning of an extraordinary transformation in our country, and in our own lives. I am not saying this to scare you. That is a marketing tactic that I deplore and I refuse to use it. In fact, I have some concerns that I’ve been too passive in communicating the importance of this work because I was afraid you would find me aggressive or sales-y. If I’ve given you the impression that it doesn’t matter when you do this work, I’m revoking that today. The time is now.
Image credit: dawolf- via Flickr
desperately seeking self
truth pulsing, pounding
calling you into the storm
the past rises to meet you
old hurt churns and swells
pushing into the sacred space
where the silence once lived
be brave enough to let it leave
eyes burn and stomach turns
be still and open your soul
lean into the waves
sing the old, sad song
breathe in, breathe out
dive deep into intensity
surrender to the waves
as they crash within you
the little one cries
you taste her tears
her hurt echos in your ears
stay with her and witness
be the one she needs
hold her as the old tears flow
teach truth, love completely
gift her the magic of laughter
the storm rises now to leave you
it has come to free you
to allow you to be you, completely
united again with the little one
where the silence once lived
your heart now opens in the world
one truth, one voice, whole again
Find your voice and use it to speak
Once, our hearts were broken and we’ve carried those wounds inside us for many, many moons. When those old emotions rise up and threaten to carry us away, it is tempting to fight, or disconnect, or numb, but we are stronger than that now. We are waking up to our spiritual selves and learning to live in alignment with our integrity. We are ready to heal the old hurts, to free ourselves, to find our voice and use it to align with the truth of who we are.
In August, the Unruly Essentials theme is FIND YOUR VOICE. We have fallen silent for a thousand reasons — mostly old heartbreak from early abuse, sexual assault, abusive partnerships, etc. — but it doesn’t have to be this way. This month we will dig into the source of your silence and take back your power. If this feels true for you, if it’s time to find your voice again, join us.
Learn more and register here:www.theunrulywoman.com/
Image Credit: Christina Xu via Flickr
At other times, I seriously feel like I’m going to lose it. An old, violent, wounded part of me rises up and tries to take over.
I feel like yelling and the words that fill my mouth are hateful and unproductive. I want to hurl them, like hot coals, at the source of my rage. It feels like my blood is boiling inside my veins. My thoughts are dark and angry, the life that was dreamy just a few minutes ago suddenly feels hopeless. The anger tries to consume me.
Newsletter love from 11/15/15. Click here to join the mailing list!
How do I find my way back to my truth?
Ask questions, even the simple ones that you already know the answer to, and notice how it feels to ask and receive those messages. Notice your breath, your heart, the feeling in your stomach. What does your mind do with the information once it bubbles up? How does the truth feel in your body?
Then, ask questions that are less obvious, but for which the outcome holds modest consequences. Do I want pizza or pasta for dinner? Should I call this friend or that one? Is it better to schedule this appointment for this week or next? Again, notice your body, notice how it feels to make these decisions for yourself, and then to follow through on them.
Watch what consequences arise from your decisions.
When you live in alignment with your truth, asking and acting on those intuitive answers, you are guided to choose more powerful experiences. An intuitively guided life is, quite simply, a more magical life.
When you’re ready, begin asking the big ones: Is it time to release this job? Do I want to have another child? Is this relationship true for me?
Don’t be afraid to ask, or to open yourself to the answers. This information does not command that you take immediate action, although sometimes that will feel true. Just ask, and then be still until you hear what’s true for you. Sit with that knowing. Action is a separate step, one that will be taken in good time, but you mustn’t allow it to keep you from asking.
Your heart will speak the truth, your brain will rise up to keep you safe, both always serving you out of love. Never let your brain disregard your heart from a place of fear. Never let your heart disregard your brain out of a place of fear. No true action is ever taken from a place of fear. Act from love . . . always.
Until your heart and mind speak to you as one again, be aware of their separateness, and patiently wait for a response from both. As you release and heal those old wounds, you’ll find that it’s easier to remember to ask for guidance. The answers that you seek will come to you more swiftly, loudly, and clearly. The self-doubt that used to settle over you, that would discourage you, will begin to fade away.
Most importantly, Wild One, remember this: The most effective way to increase your intuition is for you to honor its messages. When your gut says leave: leave. When you hear that it isn’t true: don’t do it. When it bubbles up that you miss someone, call them. When you feel called to take that class, go to that event, or connect with that particular individual—for the love of all things glittery—do it.
Take that action, for it is the sound of your heart and your mind guiding you home.
I want you to know that you are worth listening to. Your intuition, your gut, your higher self knows who you really are. It offers you guidance all day, every single day. Your only tasks are to ask, to listen, and then to act accordingly. You need only to believe that this is the truth when you hear it—your truth.
In the beginning, you were one. Your brain and your heart were intact, a true partnership, supporting you to make decisions, guiding you along the path that is most true for you. This is the truth. One whole, complete, and powerful creature is the way you were in the beginning.
But this isn’t the way that you are experiencing life right now. You feel uncertain when you’re faced with making decisions about your direction. You feel disoriented. You feel as if you can’t actually tell which option is true for you. You ache to live in alignment with what is true for you, but you feel overwhelmed by uncertainty.
Know this: Your truth is known by you—not by your partner or your friend, an expert, or a guru. Your truth is an endless natural spring that bubbles up from deep within you and nourishes you always.
Your truth lives and thrives within you. It’s there even if you’ve forgotten to listen to it or have turned away from its whispers for months or even years. It lives within you, even if you don’t believe it, even if it seems you’ve ever met it. You cannot outrun your truth, even if you try. She, who is you, will never give up on you.
It takes only setting your intention to return to her, to your true self, for your world to shift in that direction.
What interferes is the past. Because you didn’t have the resources to heal them properly, the old wounds have built up layers of scar tissue between your heart and your mind. The baggage occupying the space between your thinking self and your feeling self interferes with the communication between them, creating doubt and confusion.
You may have leaned too heavily on your heart, searching for your truth in relationships that did not serve you. Or you may have turned away from your heart, looking for answers in your mind, searching so logically and reasonably for that which could make you make sense. Alone, neither the heart nor the mind are enough to sustain you.
Fear not. This is not broken, or lost, to you forever. You will release that which no longer serves you and, in time, the gap between the two will be less and less. Answers will come with ease, for clarity is your nature. You are journeying back to the truth of who you are.
Gather around you a small group of sane, deeply committed brothers and sisters. They needn’t be normal, but sanity that is anchored in the high end of the recovery spectrum supports all of you a great deal.
Find the courage that it takes to reveal your truth to them. It needn’t be your entire truth, at least not in the beginning, as you will not have access to any more of it than has been revealed on any given day. Once you know who are, though, show them. As you discover more, show them that too.
Ask them to mirror back to you that which you’ve already discovered about yourself at the times when you forget. Trust me, sometimes we just loose our damned minds. You won’t want to be reminded, but they will show you. Try your best not to behave badly.
If you do behave badly, allow them to take a few steps back and watch from the safety of the outer edge of your life. It’s cruel and unusual to ask them to stand in the fire with you. If you must once again dance at the hellish center of your fire, go on and do it, but leave them out of it. Your fire is yours. They have their own.
Do all of these same things for them. Do them to the best of your ability. Sometimes, this will be absolutely dreadful, because that’s the way it works. Sometimes we just suck at this. We’re too triggered or distracted or human to do the right thing. That’s okay. Do your best.
Laugh together. It may help to count the laughs when you’re going through a particularly challenging spell. Cry together, too.
You will each show up in whatever way is most true for you. Some will make their journey more publicly than others. That’s perfect. Balance is a magical thing. You cannot cultivate it intentionally, but if you allow into your heart those who are open and mostly sane, and who wish to be there, you’ll find yourself with a blissful balance of all of the things that you need to be for one another.
Love them and, perhaps even more important, allow them to love you. Consider yourself warned, though: It’s usually harder to receive love than to give it. Stick with it. Their love will heal you, and your love will heal them. It’s a beautiful thing.
This soul family will ebb and flow throughout your days. Accept that flow, even if it terrifies you. Release those relationships, even the coveted ones, when they no longer feel true for you and you will make space within your circle for those who resonate with your truth.
How far are you willing to go to make space in your life for your truth?
I think that if we could see how much we would ultimately release, we’d turn away from the personal evolution journey and never look back. Maybe everyone wouldn’t, but I’m standing here, watching yet another major transition in my life unfold. I’d bet the farm that if I’d seen this coming, I would have fled this path years ago.
This path we’ve chosen returns us to our true selves. It begins subtly—a hairstyle change or an interest in a new hobby. We take that step and think, “Ah, yes. That’s better. This is who I am.” That place is such a party. We can breathe there . . . and then the next thing is revealed.
Our relationship with food shifts. We visit a new place, fall in love with it, and long to live there. We make new friends, find spiritual teachers, or do something radical to take back our health. We write and we dance and we create. We do it because we must—because we feel the truth of it written on our bones.
Over time, a thread of courage weaves together these bits of truth, strengthening the fabric of our souls.
The intensity builds with every new layer. What is required of us to live honestly both shrinks and expands over time, welcoming more of what’s true and releasing that which is not. We must have the courage to both open our hearts to the new and let go of the rest.
Do we have the courage to let go of the love? Will we sacrifice the financial security of the safe and steady day job to pursue a true professional dream? Can we choose other than the perceived safety of modern medicine and lean into healing methods that hold more truth for us?
I don’t know if I have the strength to keep going, but I’ve come this far. It’s impossible to turn back now, and I wouldn’t if I could. I’m more of who I am now than I’ve ever been—and I love it. I love the way it feels to be me, to live my truth. I want more.
All of this takes space. It takes space to add a daily spiritual practice, movement, studies, connection, or explore ourselves and discover our truths. We need the time, energy, mental bandwidth, and the physical space to move into alignment with our truths. We must learn to let go, to release that which is no longer true for us, to make space for that which resonates, for that which will pull us into the future.
It is my sincere belief that most of us are doing the best that we can bear to do with our lives. It may not even be the best we know how to do, but there’s more than just cognitive capacity affecting how we are living. We bump up against emotional obstacles, energetic blocks, restrictive beliefs, unsupportive environments, addictions, etc. In every moment, we contain the flow of several generations of thoughts, beliefs, and actions. They can either guide us to, or pull us away, from our true selves.
We get to decide how much of what flows through us is allowed to stay and define us.
We are in choice about how we show up in this life. The path we have chosen is about examining everything that cultivates our reality. We release what is false; we call in what is true.
In the beginning, we may feel like we are constantly sorting all of the sordid details of our life. It feels that way because that’s exactly what we’re doing.
When we hear our negative self talk, we will dig in and figure out to whom that voice belongs. (Our true selves would never speak to us with such fear and loathing.) When we have a relationship with food (or cigarettes or drugs or sex or whatever else) that doesn’t cultivate the kind of health and sanity that we desire, we get to explore what’s driving us. We get to heal. We get to find ways to meet our needs in ways that do not compromise the quality of our lives.
We must find the courage to look at the way we are showing up in the world. If we want to change our lives, we must begin with the willingness to own them.
We have to own who we became as a result of whatever circumstances led us here. Yes, those things happened. Yes, they were perhaps less than ideal. And yes, we may still be hurting from them. We may have more healing work to do around both new and old wounds. Yet, we are still responsible for who we’ve become.
Once more for clarity: We are responsible for who we’ve become.
If this is not the version of you that you intended to become, it’s time to dig in and cultivate your truth. Your true self still reigns, even if it is buried by the chaos and overwhelm. Your only job is to reconnect with your truth and move into alignment with it.
It’s a journey. This is your journey. But you don’t have to travel it alone. The people, systems and experiences that are available to support you far exceed the number of obstacles standing between you and your truth.
Read books, listen to music, study teachers whose work inspires you, ask hard questions and have the courage to answer them yourself, watch movies, move enough to make yourself sweat, seek non-medical healing for your body, clean up your food, spend more time with people who make you think and feel the way you desire to feel, do less of what feels untrue, recover from your addiction (including codependency), tell your story, allow life-changing experiences to change you, create, dance, write, and refuse to speak to yourself with anything less than kindness, compassion, and love.
You deserve to be the one you came here to be. Moving into alignment with that requires support. Yes, there are many forms of support available to you here at Camp Christy, but look around you, there are invitations everywhere. Accept them. You are worth it. Yes, I’m sure.
The list of things that are willing to serve as your distraction flows on and on and on. Choose wisely.
I doubt it was ever hard to be the kind of woman who does too much, even back in the day (whenever that was), but it’s easy to be one today. I am surrounded by them, both personally and professionally. And I’m (once again) coming to terms with the fact that I have been overextending myself in a way that has done harm to me, people I love, and my business.
Some of us have old, untended heartbreaks echoing through the well-intentioned hallways of our current lives, and those vibrations drive us to try to do too much. We are trying (so, so hard) to be good or loved or useful or whatever enough. We say yes to all manner of invitations that we don’t have the resources (energy, money, skills, or interest) to accept.
We scramble around like desperate animals whose lives are being threatened, trying to be fabulous enough to ensure that we will be cared for by our people, the world, and/or God. We strive to justify our existence, attempting to make ourselves invaluable enough that our needs and desires will be met.
We are trying to cultivate security with our yes.
It doesn’t actually work that way.
This drive is not petty; this isn’t just about being seen as awesome. No, this is a primal experience. We are being driven by the old wounds, the parts of ourselves that are in charge of our survival.
This isn’t sexy, but it is the reality of that exhausted woman reflected back at me after yet another night of not enough sleep, facing yet another day where it would take a series of unlikely miracles to keep tomorrow from starting the exact same way.
This isn’t working. These old survival techniques served us well in childhood, but we are no longer children trying to get through whatever haunted us at home or school or wherever else the world felt like a scary place. We are grown. We are in charge of our lives and these old tools have become a burden. We no longer need to do these things to be okay, but we keep doing it by default. These are old habits being driven by old fear.
Sometimes we say yes when it’s not true for us. This is a matter of integrity. When we say yes to more than we can do, or for that matter to things we simply don’t want to do, we sacrifice ourselves. We sacrifice our health and our sanity and our joy. When we compromise our integrity, we cultivate results that are untrue for us.
We have to stop. We can’t sustain this imbalance. We can’t cultivate truth through the fog of our old coping mechanisms.
Let us release the commitments that we’ve made that are untrue for us. And, beginning right now, every time someone asks us to do something, let us pause and check in.
Is this true for me? Do I truly have the resources to bring this commitment into my life?
Most importantly, let us ensure that the desire to say yes is coming from a place of love instead of a wound.
This isn’t an exercise in letting people down. It’s about picking yourself up. It’s about rationing the yes so there’s enough space for YOU in your life. If you integrity check every single yes before you give it, you’ll be free of what no longer serves you. You’ll be able to say yes to more of that which brings love and joy and passion and abundance and health into your life.
How is your yes? Do you give more of them than you have available? What happens to your life when you say yes to something you don’t have the time or energy or money to do? How does it make you feel when you’re committed to something you simply don’t want to do?
Talk to me, Wild One, we’ve got much to dig into here.
This is my first year living in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I love the earth—she is easily my most influential teacher—and watching the seasons of life unfold in this new place has inspired me in ways that often defy words. In these moments, I take pictures and wait for the wisdom to unfold.
This bicycle has been chained to this post since I moved here last June. It happens all over the city. I don’t really understand why perfectly good transportation gets left out in the cold . . . but that’s another challenge for another day.
So, it took a little while for winter to hit this year, but once it did, the snow fell and the temps stayed low enough for what fell to stay. And then, more snow fell. It just kept coming and never really melted, although sometimes the people here relocate snow to make it more convenient for us to get about.
By February, I was pretty sure the bike would disappear before the snow stopped falling. I couldn’t really make sense of my fascination with this bike. I knew it had a message for me, but I couldn’t find it. Every time I stopped to take a picture, my family would laugh at me. There are many other bikes that offered more dramatic images, but this one just spoke to me. It called to me, again and again.
Yesterday it called to me again . . . and I found this:
It’s crushed. Someone came through with a big piece of equipment that cut into the snow to clear more sidewalk space for walking. They crushed the bike. The bike that had been so gently held in that bank of snow for months is crushed. My heart was aching. It felt ridiculous. Well, it did at first, before I started writing this.
Now, I can see more. I can see this bike telling us a story about the winters in our lives.
Winter is the time to be still—to rest and renew, to integrate the learning that the previous seasons gifted us, and to prepare for what is ahead. We are moving into spring, a new beginning, a transition from what was into what will be.
Sometimes the winter’s shifts are subtle. Everything is so quiet and still that we don’t even recognize what’s happening. But then, the days get longer, and the bitter cold gives way to cold and eventually, warmth. When the snow begins to melt, sometimes we find lush, rested soil, and sometimes we find that something we once treasured is now broken.
The broken bicycle encourages us to pause to check in—to notice what’s happening in the many gardens that make up our lives—mind, body, spirit, home, business, love, and the rest.
What in our lives have we allowed to remain buried, is broken, or in need of tending? Are we going to hurl ourselves into the next season without doing what needs to be done before this one is over?
We can do this, but there will be consequences. This disconnected carelessness will ripple into the future seasons of our lives.
Let us have the courage to pause. Let us stay here for a time and do what must be done during these final hours of this winter. Remember, this is the only winter we have until the next one; it will never be ours again.
Let’s do this. Let us keep it clean and let us move forward with our integrity intact.
This morning—desperately searching for something meaningful in this day—I started with dance. After months dancing more and more regularly, I suddenly fell madly in love with the moment after the music begins that I just breathe and wait. I don’t know if I even have words to describe why it struck me so powerfully but it did. It was powerful, or rather empowering, to wait for the beat that was perfect for me. I said no, respectfully of course, to those who came before mine. They were lovely, just not mine. When it right for me to move, I knew and the movement that followed was everything I needed it to be.
The courage it takes to say no to what is not true for me is new. It still scares me when I think about saying no to a business opportunity—a not quite right potential client, a pro bono speaking gig that I already learned doesn’t cultivate new business, a barter invitation that isn’t for something I need. It’s hard to say no sometimes, but on some level I know that those choices are clearing the path to what is true for me.
Since that moment, old movies played back to back in the theatre of my mind. I’ve watched hundreds, maybe thousands of times that I consumed food that was convenient instead of waiting for what my body really wanted. I watched myself purchase clothes that “would do” because I didn’t have the courage to wait for the pants that help me feel both comfortable and confident. There were friendships and lovers, experiences and encounters, things and places and even thoughts… all that I accepted for fear that the truth–My Truth–would not arrive.
It’s a the kind of awareness that hurts the heart. So much of my most sacred resources—time, energy, and spirit–invested in that which carried me further from myself. So much clutter, so much pain, all because I couldn’t hear my own voice calling me home.
Blessedly, this is also a day for celebration. This realization cannot come without changing my life. Of course, it can. I just won’t allow it. No more. My choice is my power. What’s true for me is worth waiting for.
What about you, Wild One? In every moment, you have nothing more sacred than your choice. What ever will you do with all of this potential? Does this resonate for you? Are there times that you’ve settled for less that what’s true for you? What did it cost you? Are you willing to continue to pay that price, to sacrifice yourself in this way? How can you choose to be true to YOU?
Pick one thing, make space to cultivate that shift this week, and watch it spread into other areas of your life. Let me know how it’s going and remember that if you need support, I’m here.
This is my freedom formula. It’s the foundation of everything that’s happened in the last six years at Seeds and Weeds Coaching. I’ve shared it hundreds of times during classes and private sessions but I hadn’t yet written it down. It’s by no means the only tool in “The Greenhouse” but it’s proven to be so remarkably true that I find myself coming back to it every single day.
Clearly, it’s not a mathematical formula, but let’s pretend for a moment that it is. Whether they use these exact words or not, everyone who comes into my world wants to live their best life. They long to realize the potential within them. They want to be “free” to be themselves and to use all that they are to make a difference in the world. If the life of a Wild One was a class at the university, everybody wants more than a passing grade. We crave mastery. We want 100%.
And we don’t just want it for us, for what we get out of it. We are in pursuit of our best selves so we can use who we are to make a difference in the world. We know that what’s possible for the world–our families, communities, and beyond–is exponentially affected by how masterful we become at being ourselves.
It’s important to remember that personal freedom isn’t something granted to us by our parents or politicians or societal structures. No, there are many people living in deeply oppressive circumstances that are still able to craft a strong sense of personal freedom.
This freedom comes from within. And while the beginning of the journey to it begins with a single, powerful, rather simple decision to free ourselves, we don’t just choose to be free. We cultivate freedom with our thoughts, beliefs, and actions every single day.
Those who desire this freedom must focus not on the freedom itself. Instead, we will dig into the gardens of our own lives, learn who we are, accept what we find, and live in alignment with our integrity. I believe that this is how we cultivate our freedom. This is how we make the most of our lives.
Self-discovery is (obviously) just figuring out who you are. Imagine that you’d never seen a car before and I gave you one. You wouldn’t have the cognitive understanding of it enough to hop it and drive, but somehow we expect human beings to just know how to be their best selves with little more than the example set by our families, communities, and the media. (Lions and tigers and bears! Oh MY!)
So many of us were taught to live our lives in reaction to others (see also: addiction and codependency) and we made it to adulthood without having a thorough understanding of ourselves. We have to take a step back and look at the machine we’re working with, learn how it works, and what it’s capable of doing before we can even think about doing (living/driving) it masterfully.
Once we figure out what we are working with, we have to have to accept what we’ve discovered. We have to make peace with who we are. In order to work with this machine, one has to accept that (hypothetically speaking) she is a they-call-me-hard-headed-but-I-prefer-tenacious taurus with a proven affection for unconventional people and most things addictive. She stands five feet and two inches tall, is quite curvy, freckled, and throws a football with surprising force but accuracy that leaves something to be desired. She is incapable of stillness when music plays and can’t speak without her hands. She loves the earth, produces children who are amazing but will most certainly need a good therapist, and making people laugh makes her feel like everything is going to be okay. She is a lesbian, an extrovert, and she cannot pick a favorite color.
If we are in denial about pieces of ourselves that have been revealed, we render ourselves powerless. We willfully diminish our potential. We sacrifice our own freedom. We must have the courage to accept what’s true about ourselves so that we can cultivate the freedom we desire.
Merriam-Webster defines integrity as 1) the quality of being honest and fair, and 2) the state of being complete or whole. I can’t do better than those definitions. Living in alignment with our integrity is the third critical factor in the freedom formula. It means that once we’ve discovered and accepted pieces of who we are, we get up every single day and do what we know to be true for us. As we continue to discover and accept more and more of our truth, and we move into alignment with those truths, we become more masterful versions of ourselves. With each evolution, we cultivate more freedom for ourselves and we become more positive, more powerful force in the world.
Take a moment to think about your life. Hold it up against the freedom formula. If your life isn’t as you wish it to be, hold it up against the freedom formula. Where are the holes? Where do you need to focus to cultivate a more powerful result with your energy every day? Is it that you don’t know enough about how you work? Are there important pieces of you that you haven’t yet accepted? Or is this a matter of integrity?
Remember that there is no need for shame about what you discover when you ask yourself these questions… just power. If you need support, I’m here.