Growing into our Authentic Self: the Push-Pull between Authenticity and Vulnerability
We are born into this human experience and we get this body, connected to our mind and our spirit. We get this brain-body complete with chemical reactions for each emotion, gardens of neural pathways, mini universes of organized chaos running with and without us.
We are both a spark of divine inspiration/creation and a human in a meat suit. Sacred and mundane. Like this: I don't feel much like a sacred being when I've avoided cleaning my bathroom for a week past gross. Let's just say this can feel like a paradox, a collection of contrasts, a wild and wonderful push-pull dance.
We are complex. When we avoid our complexity, we might feel blocked. When we embrace and celebrate our complexity, we begin to feel an unfolding epic path.
Adding family dynamics and cultural conditioning to the mix, our inner push-pull epic story that we are born with.....feels like a challenge to work on.
An epic myth I was born with is the push pull between hope and despair. It shows up as a pattern of taking one step forward and feeling the two steps back. It creates this feeling that I can put in tons of effort into my work, my health.... and not get the same result as 20 other people who put in the same effort. This ebb and flow, this approach-avoid. One part pushing, the other part pulling. I feel stuck in the middle.
Often these parts are distorted - they are not clear reflections of ourself. Have you noticed the way other people see the best in you, when you don't totally believe in yourself. This picture embodies how we might see ourself (on the left) and how others see us (on the right). Both/and: we are both a complex, beautiful disorganized mess AND bright, shining, bad-ass brilliance.
We need people who see us, get us, understand and reflect our beauty and greatness back to us. Free from distortions. These are our empowered mirrors.
I am witnessing a process in myself and seeing it in the collective at the same time: the dance between our greatness and our vulnerability! This story is directly connected to refining and defining our truest, deepest authentic identity. Let me try to tell the story and ask you, "What are you seeing/feeling/experiencing?"......
The story begins with the strong call, the yearning to allow our authentic selves to shine, be as big and bright as they are and to be visible to share this part of ourselves with the world. And, all the gifts that live there. Can I be as big as I am? I bumped into the paradox of the competing fears: "what if I'm not enough?" pushing and pulling against, "what if I'm too much?"
I felt this call come through more strongly as I gathered the lessons, learning and gifts from 2020 and looked ahead to 2021. I have an incredible resource of a supportive mirror to walk with me on this path to grow into my greatness. Simple acts that might feel impossible one day and flow with ease the next: to claim my ability to translate felt sense, imagery, metaphor into words others can read; to show up and be present in video shares (ack!); showing up every day to be in relationship with my business.
In many ways it's the shift
from: receiving an intuitive, creative impulse and not being able to follow through
to: this new muscle of hearing it and showing up for it to put it into action.
In the last week or so, I've had two major vulnerability hangovers. I caught myself comparing me to others. eeeek.
Vulnerability hangover #1: After an expansive day, in all my greatness, I reached out to a brilliant poet to suggest a collaborative project. I had been holding this impulse for at least a month. ......He said YES!
The next morning, I woke up feeling small, unworthy, definitely not good enough. I tended to that part of me and "we" all showed up anyway. This project is well underway. What I learned the first time we met together on zoom: he had similar thoughts. People who see us and know us, often see our greatness in more realistic and consistent ways. I had two choices: stay small in the thought of "I'm not as great as him." or show up, present and alive with all my unique gifts to add them to his unique gifts. Already, I am receiving the gift of being in his clear, grounded presence. There is no other way to show up but in my own clear, grounded presence. The empowered mirroring that comes with mutual respect and self respect. This is where our collaboration will shine.
Vulnerability hangover #2: The vulnerability of a learning curve. I have a new group I am holding space for and with. I missed some things that need more attention and structure. Things I take for granted that others need more support and guidance around. I walked away from our last gathering feeling very unsettled and I know others did as well. Stepping up and stretching into new territory comes with learning curves. Stepping back into self-reflection and tending to my own learning/growing edges so that I can mend any harm done and be accountable moving forward. Whew. This has been a smoother, more integrated experience of push pull. Holding it like a scientist to gather information without judgement and make necessary adjustments.
From my most vulnerable place, I started to see myself comparing me to others. It was a weapon. Not nice and not fair, either to me or the one in comparison. Comparing myself to another keeps me from celebrating their greatness and receiving their gifts. Comparing myself to another can keep me trapped in that small place. Those were really old patterns. Guess I had to see and feel them one more time. Shine the light of clarity into those shadowy places.
From my most expanded self I am beginning to claim my identity as a ¡revolutionary artist! and a gentle guide and teacher coming from the perspective of an embodied rebel. Whoa.
I started to hear this story from others. How can I be fully myself, if I'm comparing myself to someone else? I'm not supposed to make a copy and replicate someone else's greatness. I am meant to find, create, breathe life into my own identity and greatness. When they are in their greatness, their small self sows seeds of self doubt, "Are you sure you can do this?" When they are low and in doubt, their greatness self bullies them for not showing up, not being better.
It is time to free ourselves from pushing ourselves off a cliff and pulling ourselves into uncomfortable pretzel shapes.
So simple and so complex.
"When the thing under my bed and I finally meet one another,
we’re gonna feel so silly we waited this long to become friends."
~Jarod K. Anderson
....same goes for all those parts of ourselves: the dreamer, the scary one, the bully, the rebel with a cause, the squelched one, the victim, the dark parts, the visionary, the parts we hid to keep safe, the something's-wrong-with-me part, the brilliant one, etc.
Make all those your new friends!!!
Be a wild, wonderful complexity ceremonialist. Have a paradox party. Make a grand entrance in all your greatness.
Befriend. Reunite. Embrace.
If you are also unfolding this story, I wish you gentle self-compassion and open receptivity to:
~ the empowered mirrors in your life,
~ to gathering multiple perspectives for learning and integrating,
~ to all that informs and empowers your true identity.
Embodiment Coaching offers a path towards befriending and empowering our complexity. I am the Embodied Rebel in your corner, holding up that empowered mirror so that you can see yourself clearly.
Reach out today for your free 30-45 minute phone call to meet your wild, unfolding self.
or use the contact page here on my website: https://www.degrawdance.com
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