Today’s blog is targeted for those of you (us), who have often felt a misfit in this world. Freaks, geeks, dweebs, artists, creative geniuses, rightbrain thinkers, lightworkers, healers, Indigo’s, Crystals, Rainbows, Starseeds, lightwarriors, children of light. Whatever name we have called ourselves, we have always felt as if we stand outside the norm, as if we do not fit in, and that no matter how hard we try, we cannot embrace the lifestyle, expectations, and values of the hierarchical, patriarchal, materialistic, consumeristic, Western world. Instead, we find ourselves embracing what many would consider countercultural values and lifestyles and either working seventeen jobs or becoming (as one friend recently observed about me) “chronically self-employed,” in order to live our truth and follow our dreams. Some, familiar with the Matrix movies might suggest that we have taken “the red pill.” Others, might just shake their head in disgust as we continue to rock the boat of “normal,” challenge perceived authority, and shake the foundations of status quo, even though the work that we do is ALWAYS geared toward making the world a more loving, harmonious, peaceful and beautiful place. But, people don’t like change and they don’t appreciate different, so we are often cast out as weird or condemned as shit-disturbers. If any of this sounds familiar to you, keep reading because I am about to offer you the ONE CURE for all your frustration and impatience over simply trying to be who God/dess made you to be and the ONE CURE for any obstacle you might be facing in living your truth freely and enjoying the abundant fruits of sharing your amazing gifts.
THE ONE CAUSE
The ONE CURE came to me in my own struggle to live my truth and trying to find my place in the world. I have to thank my friend who first called me “chronically self-employed,” and the completely disproportionate reaction I had to these words as it gave me an opportunity to identify THE ONE CAUSE of my history of paralysis, lack of confidence, immobility, perceived failure, financial lack, vocational and relational struggles. The ONE CAUSE, I discovered, was shame. “What is wrong with me that I cannot work in the real world and have a real job?” I moaned. “What was wrong with me that I couldn’t be content in an unhappy marriage?” (millions of other people find a way to be). “Why doesn’t anybody get what I do or understand who I am?” I realized at the root of all these questions was ONE emotion, and that emotion was SHAME. I felt shame for being different and for seemingly not fitting in and for feeling driven to live a life outside the norm by naming, claiming, cultivating and living my gifts and my dreams.
THE ONE CURE
Once I was able to identify SHAME as the cause, I knew I had also found the cure. If shame is what is keeping me small and stuck, then shame needed to be confronted, transformed and released. Intellectually, I knew there was nothing wrong with me and there was no rational reason that I should remain stuck. But shame, as an underlying inner state, trumped all I “knew” in my mind. So, I applied one of my favorite spiritual practices to shame and allowed it to find its release.
If you find that shame is also at the root of your own tendency to remain small, or believing that you are different and in your difference, somehow wrong, then try this practice which I am borrowing from Tibetan Buddhism – Tonglen.
1) Connect with your feelings of being different or not fitting in.
2) Identify the emotion underlying these feelings – perhaps it is shame.
3) Become aware of where you are feeling this emotion in your body.
4) Allow yourself to be present to this emotion. FEEL it, instead of pushing it away.
5) Breathe in this feeling. Breathe it into your heart as you allow yourself to feel the feeling.
6) Breathe out love.
7) Breathe in the feeling and breathe out love until you feel something in you shift. Maybe a new feeling surfaces, or you begin to cry, or you feel yourself growing stronger, more confident, more self-assured. Stay with this practice until you feel it is resolved.
Why This Practice Works
Once you have released the shame, you can no longer remain small or have feelings of being rejected or condemned, or experience failure, because, there is nothing left for these negative experiences to hook on to. Before, shame acted like a cement block that we were tied to with thick, black straps of elastic. Every time we tried to crawl out of our feelings around being different, and every time we tried to “think” ourselves to greatness, all it would take was one crossed eye, or shaking finger of criticism to pull us right back into the pit of our shame. Once shame is released, there is nothing left for the hooks to hang on to…..so we are free. The proof in this practice is that once we release the shame, every door that was previously closed to us miraculously opens because we can no longer be rejected, condemned, ostracized or banished because there is no more shame to hold us hostage within ourselves, and then we are free to be our weird, creative, countercultural, shit-disturbing selves and we are happier (and maybe even richer) for it.
Lauri Lumby provides one-on-one mentoring for those seeking to birth their Soul – the uniquely creative part of themselves through which they were gifted to find meaning, purpose and fulfillment and through which they are called to contribute to the betterment of the world. To learn more call (920) 230-1313 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.