I woke up this morning from a terrible nightmare that felt so real! Ahhhh (sigh) relieved, when I realised it was only a dream... I stared at the ceiling, blanket off trying to cool down and to not fall back asleep. I started to comb through what my dream may have meant to me...
Narrative: I had a massive argument with my partner, that resulted in me having to move into a friends house (I was causing her a massive inconvenience). I started a new job which was in recruitment (same friend put in a good word). On my first day, I was late as I got lost and then I couldn't find any parking. Feeling very unwelcome as I found an empty desk and no-one around (too busy) to show me around, then I made a joke to the wrong person (the CEO who didn't appreciate it)! When I finished work and got back to my friends, there was a cute little boy waiting for me; I had a son (who was addoooraablle). The next day, I left earlier to ensure I wouldn't be late, but yet again I was running into the office flustered and late. I knew I wasn't making a good first impression. As I was trying really hard to turn my day around, trying to work the printers, I overheard my friend (same friend I am staying with) bitching about how she found me such a nuisance... I felt so helpless, lost, abandoned, alone, not belonging, insecure, uncertain, trapped and out of control.
Upon reflection of this dream, it could be any 'normal' day... (I thought it was a nightmare in relation to me personally, but on the flip side to someone else it could be seen as finally leaving a toxic relationship, making a fresh start? This could be someone's normal) My dream was driven by fear, I was full of fear! It made me think of these fears that were embedded in the dream (probably more, that I am unaware of):
No security for myself or someone who I am responsible for (my dream son)
Being out of control, no autonomy
Not being able to be myself (feeling like myself)
Being a burden to someone
Being in a job I hate (corporate rat race), feeling career lost
Not being able to ask for help
Doing a bad job
Saying the wrong thing
Overwhelming amount of responsibility with no support circle (alone)
When I look at these fears it reminds me of how I felt last year when we went into lockdown (and funnily enough today marks the day of when the UK went into a national lockdown). In hindsight, I noticed how I fed into those fears and didn't allow myself the opportunity for change or adapting...
Even with the tools of mindfulness, meditation and yoga, I didn't know how to change it. I felt consumed in just waiting...when will this be over, so I can get back into normality? When the pandemic stopped me teaching, I was angry, felt stuck, fearful that I would have to go back into a corporate job that just doesn't fulfil my life's intentions. Back to watching what I have to say and being a certain way otherwise I would get fired. I was also grieving over the loss of my business, I love teaching yoga and I didn't want to move to teaching online for the fear of doing a shit job (now realising). In hindsight, these fears were driving me to make decisions (or lack of) so I couldn't see any other options. I don't think I was afraid of change, I just didn't know how to. My habitual way of being wasn't working no more.
With training in mindfulness, I became aware of these fears holding me back. It allowed me to set intentions and to seek the change I needed, so that I could stop feeling trapped and stagnant. That was a start. I knew I was missing something and for me it wasn't the 'act of doing' for change -I am not afraid of change, or doing (although I do know how hard this can be for some -to find motivation). Now I understand, what stopped me was processing my own emotions; it was feeling, listening and being (yin). Learning to surrender, which the pandemic (and know it was the same for you do-ers out there) forced me to slow down... (balancing out my yang qualities with yin - probably why I love yin yoga so much now).
It is hard to look within... especially if we don't have the right tools. We try soo hard to runaway from ourselves it quite comical... I am guilty of it. Constantly doing to keep distracted. This time last year, I didn't think it was a bad habit because whatever I did it made me happy, but essentially I was avoiding the 'bad', 'negative' feelings.
When I found Reiki with Gouri last year, I knew it was exactly what I needed. To surrender, learn to be, embrace all of me; both my light and dark and to live with compassion. Like in the events in my dream, it was the narrative of my fear. And it is only a narrative, only a dream driven by fear. We identify so strongly with the stories that we tell ourselves. Even good ones like, 'I am a happy, positive yoga teacher who wants to brighten up people's day'- this was my most toxic narrative as it never allowed me to be my sad self in front of people, scared that I would disappoint someone or worse think I am a miserable person. Now in hindsight, with compassion I show up as myself to allow other to show up for themselves. There is no good or bad, right or wrong, arrive as you are. We are humans with the beautiful ability to feel. Feel all ranges of emotion and when we close off our hearts to even sadness we close off our heart to empathy, love and happiness. We cannot close off to one certain emotion, we actually just slowly close off to them all, numbing ourselves emotionally. Numb and empty would be the exact words I would describe how I felt last year. I want to let you know that when you accept your full self, there is a radiance in authenticity. When you show up for yourself, you shine and it comes deep from a place that is infinitely abundant. It is your power and it shines light onto paths that you wouldn't even have thought existed or possible.
As hard and uncomfortable as doing the inner healing work is, it is an opportunity to be your best self without the toxic shit that just keeps you trapped; it is freedom. For me, doing the inner work has liberated me, allowed me to connect with so many beautiful people virtually; it has honestly been such a gift during this year! On Sunday, I co-hosted a virtual retreat day and it was such a beacon of light, a day of connection and it really highlighted how I had changed. I could deeply understand and connect with others through compassion, my business has transformed from teaching yoga to a multitude of holistic offerings, I am not driven by that narrative of fear and I feel more confident, compassionate to being vulnerable, authentic, and open to just be myself, all of myself (show my sad side, swear a bit, talk too fast, just be human).
Poem that I was inspired to write after the virtual retreat day
Finding the 'right tools' to venture within, is a life long lesson for me. I believe answer always come from within, we just have to learn how. You wouldn't go into a dark cave with out a torch. So, don't go exploring the depths of your inner world, without the vital tools. It is important to equip yourself; take the time to learn and experience different modalities. At present, I am grateful to have in my 'toolbox'; yoga, mindfulness, compassion, singing bowls, Reiki, embodiment exercises, loving friends and family, supportive partner who listens, therapist friends, those who I vibe with that I continue to attract (I love meeting new people). The modalities that I can offer you: embodied approach to yoga, mindfulness, sound healing, compassion, a friend.
Inner work is absolutely vital, to unburden yourself with the traumas passed on, to attend to your inner child, to unlearn and learn new habits. Even when we know the tools, one of the biggest things I've learnt. You don't have to do it on your own. In fact don't do it on your own, when we are overwhelmed, too close to the fire, we may not know how to attend or hold a space for ourselves.
You don't have to do it alone, you can ask someone to hold a safe space for you... That is why holistic modalities are so important on your healing journey. Here are some 'tools' I would like to share with you (that have worked for me, find what works for you):
I hope for you a journey to find your most authentic self, to show up in the world as your-SELF.