(an excerpt from my future book just for you)
I found myself one spring morning during the COVID19 pandemic doing yoga among the trees. I noticed how far the branches were reaching into the sky. I couldn’t help but take pictures of the fractal patterning as the new buds were beginning to emerge. Every new branch seemed to point in a new direction, yet all stemming back to one solid, strong trunk.
I glanced down at the shadow of the tree in the grass. Then it hit me…growth is not just what we see above ground. It goes far beyond and deep within. Just as much as the tree reaches into the sky, it also roots deep within the Earth. Yet, this is the dimension of growth we rarely (if ever) see.
Does this mean it’s not as important? Oh hell no! Can you imagine burning away the roots of such a large tree simply because we don’t see them day by day? I don’t have a degree in Biology, but I can promise you that tree won’t last long.
The growth beneath the surface is equally as important as the growth we see in our day by day life. We see our hair and nails grow, but we don’t see the new cells emerging every day within our body. We see our children growing taller, but we do not see their blood vessels from the heart growing in length at the same time.
Growth is not linear, it’s multi-dimensional. Growth does not follow a straight line, but rather a spiral through space-time.
For example, perhaps you’re feeling stuck in your relationship with your significant other. You’re feeling triggered, angry, and just plain old STUCK in the same old energy. You’ve got that “same shit, different day” type attitude. You continue to say, “We’ve got relationship problems.”
In reality you don’t have a relationship problem together. You have individual relationship patterns within your self. One of my mentors Tucker Max (who’s company is helping me write this book) said something very profound that sat with me. His wisdom came at a time I was having some challenges with Ben newly into our marriage.
He said what happens in relationships is this…unless we have done our work and integrated our own traumas, insecurities, and past hurts in our OWN life and in our OWN relationship with our self, we will always perceive that we have relationships problems. This struck such a strong cord in me like OH sh*t, Yup! In reality, we have inner challenges that we bring to the relationship that then intersects with our partners inner challenges.
It is in this intersection that a dissonance occurs. We may not see the traumas from the past anymore (just like the roots of the tree or vessels of the heart), but they are there energetically running programs within our nerve system. They too impact our life through space-time.
Here’s the beautiful thing: when we start to clear our own inner trauma, challenges, past hurt, pains (whatever you want to call it) within our own bodymind, the relationships we are in ALSO change. They change by way of who we are BECOMING. Our perceptions, neurology, physiology, and mindset shift and in turn, the world shifts around us.
You’ve heard the saying, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” This is it.
Seeing as growth is not a linear path, there are a few principles that can support you along your journey. You can apply these to health, business, relationships, career, family, and beyond. I’ve learned many of these principles from my mentors and have continuously applied them to all areas of my life, especially when challenges arise.
Key Growth Principles
· Done is better than perfect. As you start to practice living within your values, it is natural to feel fear about taking action. “What if it’s not good enough? What if I make a mistake? What if I come off as a fraud?” These are ALL valid points…AND you must acknowledge the fear and take action anyway. Listen, no matter what levels of accomplishment you attain in your life, there will always be new levels of fear. It’s hardwired into your brain and nerve system to keep you safe. Acknowledge it, breathe into it, tap into if it’s even a valid fear (i.e. are you going to die?) and act anyway. The more you can recognize that perfectionism (or procrastination) is simply a default pattern to avoid fear, the more powerful you can become in taking action towards your growth and healing. It is in this fear acknowledgement process that you can begin to use FEAR as FUEL for deeper transformation.
· Live within your values. There are thousands of tests that exist within the world to tell you how you live and how you operate. While I believe some are valid, I also believe that some can make things more confusing. A few simple questions to ask yourself when determining your top values include:
o What occupies space-time your mind most?
o What do you fill (or want to fill) your schedule with? AND does it bring you joy?
§ **Be careful with this one. Just because your job may fill most of your schedule doesn’t mean you are living in alignment with your values. If you are miserable and exhausted, reflect on this. Generally speaking, when we are living in alignment with our values, we are energized, excited, and inspired majority of the time. When you live within your top values, you are rarely bored. This doesn’t mean life doesn’t bring along challenges. But for the most part, you can move through them with a deeper understanding how it serves your purpose and other top values.
o To give you some reference, here are my top 3 – health, learning/teaching, and business.
o If you’re curious to learn more about this type of work, I suggest contacting a DeMartini or Tony Robbins Breakthrough Facilitator. Additionally, you can reach out to me on any platform to go deeper into this concept.
· Practice discernment. It’s one thing to take action that aligns with your values and mission in life. It’s another to simply take action just to say you took action. We all know those people who are action junkies but never make any real progress in their life. Discernment allows us to filter out action that serves and action that is wasted energy. This comes back to reclaiming your power and knowing what truly brings you JOY in life. When you understand what your values are, you develop a greater ability to give a clear YES to things that work and a clear NO to things that are simply a distraction to your fulfillment.
· See your “relationship” problems as an opportunity to reflect inward. Ask yourself, what about this person is triggering me? Where do I behave in a similar manner? Is there something here to check in with about myself that I may be projecting on to my partner (or any other relationship)? Where in my body do I feel this challenge? When you start to see the world as a mirror to reflect on yourself, your challenges begin to be your biggest guide along your growth path.
· Slow DOWN to SPEED up. Holy smokes did this one scare me for a long time. I am totally an action addict. If I’m not doing something towards my goals or top values, I feel like I am making no progress whatsoever. I first heard this principle from my mentor Dr. Brett Jones and then heard it again within the same week from another mentor of mine, Rachel Bell. You see, we live in such a fast-paced culture that puts over-working on a pedestal. However, if you’re constantly in a state of frantic action, your results may begin to look fragmented. Frantic action without discernment will lead to fragmented results (quote Mel Krug 😉 ). This might look and feel like the world is passing you by. Your language may consist of “always being SO busy.” By the way. I strongly dislike that word. We need to stop being BUSY and start living a life that is FULL-FILLED! It’s OK to have a schedule that brings you excitement, healthy challenges, growth, inspiration, and wonder. It’s another to be so full to the brim with shit that exhausts you, brings you down, and makes you feel a LACK of power. Sometimes you need to SLOW down, reevaluate what actually brings you a sense of purpose, and SHIFT to more of THAT in your life. Sometimes what’s needed is literally time traveling to that moment of trauma and sitting with it to find the wisdom in the moment. I’m not suggesting that you need to relive trauma to heal. There are many ways to grow WITHOUT experiencing trauma. However, unless you have learned how to find the blessing in the stressing, your addiction to action may be an avoidance strategy to your deeper unfelt, unprocessed, disintegrated emotions from the past.
The moment I realized how many gifts came from my sexual trauma was the moment I felt FREE for the first time in years. That experience taught me boundaries. That experience taught me how to get in touch with my sexual side. That experience taught me about tapping into spirit when nothing else seemed to be protecting me. Most importantly, it taught me how to go within and dig deep in moments of uncertainty.
That experience brought me here with you today. It brought me years of searching, learning, studying, integrating, healing, writing, journaling, meditating, crying, understanding, and most importantly TEACHING and passing that wisdom on to you.
That experience brought me here…my voice and my words on paper (or in your ears depending on how you are integrating this information 😉 ).
You see, it is in our trauma that we find triumph
It is in our challenges that we find creativity.
It is in our fear that we find fierceness.
It is in our problems that we find power.
It is in the darkness we find our inner Lioness, Lion, and Light
(an excerpt from becoming Lioness)