The first time I went up the mountain on a ski lift, I panicked. Not because I was up super high above the ground. And not even because I knew, as someone who is tragically uncoordinated enough on dry land, that strapping two slick, skinny pieces of fiberglass to my feet and sending me down a snowy hill was a horrible idea.
What panicked me, sitting on the lift that day, was the understanding that I had made a choice I couldn’t renege on.
The only way out is through, they say. …
I was reading a book about manifestation last week and the author gave a breakdown of her process.
One of the steps was: Identify exactly what you want.
This one really annoyed me, right off the bat, (which is typically a sign that something deeper is being triggered!). It seemed like an obvious given. Of course you have to know what you want before you can manifest it. That’s like saying: before you head out on your drive, make sure you know where you’re going and plug the address into your GPS.
Duh, I thought.
But as the day went…
One of the most common self criticisms I hear from my clients is: “I’m lazy.” This statement is typically delivered like a sad fact: “I can’t climb that hill, my leg is broken.” It sets the tone of what to expect.
But what we perceive as “laziness” is actually just resistance. And resistance is fear.
When we pull the veil back and get down to the heart of our true feelings, we can see them for what they are and name them accurately. Once we do that, we can start asking the right kinds of questions. The life changing questions.
Not all caretaking is the same. What we give freely, in abundance, contains a different energetic charge than what we offer in resentment and self-deprivation. When it comes to the art of caring for another person, there is always a negotiation of needs taking place. The thing is, it may not necessarily be conscious.
The Martyred Caretaker is the caretaker who gives from an empty cup and holds a secret contempt for her own needs. She takes the stance, Esther Perel, once brilliantly described as: I make sure not to need much so nobody will say no.
The Martyred Caretaker…
The spiritual teacher Adyashanti coined the phrase: “sacred discomfort” to describe the kinds of growing pains that contain a profound beauty in their hardness because they yield to our spiritual evolution.
A client and I were talking about this recently and we came up with our own version: “sacred agitation”. Everything has been “annoying” her lately.
The word “annoying” is a signal fire to me, in my work as a healing practitioner. It almost always means: HURT. Acknowledging our hurts is often too vulnerable, too much for us. So we downplay them with imprecise language.
Mosquitoes are annoying. Paper cuts…
I heard Esther Perel say this once and it hit me like an arrow striking a bullseye. I had to hit pause and really let it sink in.
People who give too much are people who fear not being given to.
The way I’d heard it, over the years and throughout all of my research around codependency, was: people who give too much do so because they feel worthless. So, I was focused on healing worthlessness. Not looking at what my fears of receiving were connected to.
This new perspective was radical and life changing for me. It’s amazing, the…
“How are you?”, I ask my client as we greet each other through our computer screens.
Nearly a year into the pandemic, this has become normal life. I will sit in my office all day hitting the start and end buttons on virtual sessions. Dogs at my feet, the hypnotic rhythm of snow falling perpetually outside my window and a cup of warmish tea between my hands. It feels a bit like living on a movie set.
My client screws her face up and looks up toward the sky. Or maybe she’s consulting the Heavens.
“I’m freaking SATURATED!”, she groans…
Our mother wasn’t a yeller. When we were in trouble growing up, she had a look that was worse than screaming. Her eyes narrowed and her lips tightened and we were left to imagine what she thought of us. This is the same reason the book is always better than the movie: our imaginations are way more intense than reality.
All our mother had to say was: “I’m so disappointed in you.” Ahhhhh! That was the lowest low. She didn’t need to hit us. She didn’t need to explain further. We were like circus elephants who, after being chained tightly…
Pema Chodron wrote: Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know.
When we struggle to let go, it’s because we haven’t learned the wisdom that is trying to make itself known to us. We end up in pain asking why we can’t move on when the real question is: what am I not understanding here?
What am I meant to know that I’m not grasping?
Life is a patient teacher. She will keep cycling the same curriculum around and around. She will not give up on us.
If we’re subconsciously holding the concept of…
This weekend I went looking for something and fell down the rabbit hole of reading my own, years old, writing.
This is something I rarely do.
For me, writing is as fundamental as digesting food when it comes to processing my life and keeping the channels clear. But if I re-read, I tend to develop judgments about the writing that get in the way the next time I need to sit and let it all out on the page.
I shift, imperceptibly, from author to editor or author to critic, in my own mind.
These are very different roles. The…
Healing practitioner, writer and thought leader in the field of emotional intelligence and personal development. IG/FB: @marywelchofficial