The Secret We All Share…

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Human beings. We are a funny bunch.

Many of us tend to focus on what makes us different. Not all of us, but when we get pissed or someone believes something contradictory to us or drives their car how we don’t like it….or makes decisions we would never make, we focus on the differences.

We share that as human beings. Is it the secret? No.

We’ve lost a lot of artists in 2016. The latest being Prince. It didn’t really hit me til later, as I remembered my early adult years coming out of high school, as his songs were the theme to my relationships. Prince, 1999 and later Purple Rain. It was an emotional connection. Leading me deeper to include the part of myself who was freer, wilder, daring and edgy, (having Scorpio rising like him and the love of purple was relatable too) especially with his earlier songs. In those years, I’d drive along listening to Head and Sister.

Though to all appearances I probably appeared pretty straight-laced–wrapped tightly.

My point in sharing here isn’t my grief, the connection to his music or the re-living of those times in the past few days, it is that many of us hide out. We hide from ourselves first and the rest of the world secondly. We all share insecurities. We share weirdness, provocations and the fear of accepting those parts of ourselves others may deem unsavory.

Creativity, namely music and even the expression of any art form elicits what is hidden.

Is it the secret? No, I am getting there.

To continue, I thank artists who live on the edge of that space, because deep inside we all do have an edge, for most a hidden edge. When you hear your favorite song, or one you’ve attached meaning to about an emotional situation how do you actually feel? Vulnerable? Or at others times, tough, sensual, sexual, happy and like dancing your ass off? It creates an emotional connection with yourself. Just like a sad song relating to a break up, or how you feel so alone inside or alienated, it can dig it up and bring it to the surface.

As a fan of all sorts of music on loneliness and alienation, from Grunge to the Church, Echo and The Bunnymen….to the 60’s, 70’s and other genres of music–it used to pull up those murky parts of myself that I wanted to hide….and let me feel myself.

The perfect picture many of us carry on the outside rarely relates to what is going on inside. The CEOs and semi-celebs I’ve worked with are never what they appear to be on the outside, even the most creative ones. Truly! Most are used to being someone else too. Real happiness is not found in hiding the other parts…the ones we tuck away in fear of being found out, doing it wrong or having to explain.

Always for me, I never fit in and in many instances I still don’t (but where I do is magical–any more scorpio rising peeps who love the color purple?)….and it’s okay now. Not fitting in isn’t the fault of others, I believe it is a failure to embrace our own quirks. When trying to be somebody else and fit in, it’s impossible to be fulfilled. We will always feel ill at ease. You and I have our own tribes and the only way to attract those people is to be YOU. If you’re always stuck in pretense, all you will attract are pretentious relationships.

Think about it. Like attracts like.

Is it the secret? Almost.

A step toward the secret we all share is as long as I’m connected to me, I feel free. Freedom is what we all desire, in some capacity. Some of us are waiting for something again, outside of us, to set us free.

As you see there are many things we have in common with one another. Including, the deeper desire to share, to be open and embrace who we really are, to express that freedom, love, happiness and inner peace. We have more in common than less. Really we do.

Let’s take those words and bundle them up into a meaningful place inside of us. The true living of such words is a paradox, because of what may matter more to us.

The secret: We all want to belong.

We all want to be connected.

We all want to be our weird ass selves (yes everyone is weird) and be accepted. We all want to come as we are and no matter what (perhaps only in the privacy of our car, shower, bedroom or the company of strangers) be voicing it from the bottom of our lungs.

And back to the artists, does it mean they live in this way, being who they truly are? They’re like the rest of us, some would say yes, others would say no. (They may have a persona to live into that they created)

It is again what they create in their art, it’s an avenue for us to experience ourselves. And it may be the only time we do experience a part of true selves. Listening to those songs, which take us somewhere else deep inside.

Many of us need outside permission to live in full expression of what lies deep inside of us, and many of us deny what is in those depths, because we want to belong so badly. We want to appear to have it all, (we need the validation, attention and admiration) but I am here to tell you….under the skin of every person who appears to have it all perfectly built is a contradiction.

It’s what makes us lonely, feel disconnected and as though the emptiness inside cannot be permanently filled up. For some it is to keep so busy there’s no connection, just go-go-go and for others it is to be immobilized, also afraid to step into who they really are…it’s where we differ.

We distance, even when we look like we’re belonging. We create drama and strife, because it’s easier than the possible rejection for what truly lives in each of us. It is really through our own creativity that we are re-born.

It is when we say yes to ourselves that it becomes ok. And it means accepting the things we do against ourselves (and others), the ways we do hide out, stand with a huge wall, hurry and get pissed off. It means we embrace ourselves in the messes we create and take responsibility.

Oh yeah, to belong may be a physiological wiring, but we have 1000s of ways we do not take responsibility for the reasons we need to show up in a certain way with particular people. We look emotionally from afar, as though they may have the key to our finally feeling we’ve arrived; if only we can belong and again, we feel the unrest. Looks good on the outside, but sucks on the inside.

I was at a dinner party and someone asked what I do, we had a short conversation where I stated a few things I do, including learning to take responsibility without blaming others. He said, “Don’t we all do that?” And I said those of us who want to remain powerless to change our lives and be happy, yes; we stay victims.

In wanting to belong to a tribe, we may not even know why. We may have picked up those are the cool kids over there and I want to belong. Or we may rebel and say screw the cool kids, I am going to hang with the outsiders. Our group may be tied together in our unhappiness at not living a fully expressed, creative life. We cannot imagine what would become of us if we really sought out those we do belong with, that unknown can keep us dangling our entire lives.

What can you do? What are you willing to risk? How creative do you want to get? How free, happy and at peace do you want to be? You have to look deeper to understand your reasons for where you belong and why, you have to get to your beliefs around self-worth.

Every time I write or share it is a risk for me. Yeah, I am intensely private (believe it or not) and a lot of what I did in my younger years was not about love. It was about winning, appearances and self-inflicted pain. I didn’t know any better, most of us don’t.

Who was I? At the time I had no idea, just a bundle of anxiety, unease, analyzation and intellectual hubris….of course covered with a sense of humor, over-doing, over-giving and trying to be the best.

Some think walls are a great idea, and people have to earn something from us that we’re not even willing to give to ourselves. We also think we need to show up a certain way, so we don’t lose the people around us….because we’re afraid who we really are is nothing.

Ugh, right? The judge that lives in and outside of us telling us our worth, setting the stage for who we are and for many it’s based off someone else’s rules for life. We may want to belong ‘somewhere’ so badly….we create castles in the sky. Nothing real just the appearance of it. If we’re cast out, do we vow to instead be more of who we are or more of who we think other people want?

Finding your creativity may not make you into a world famous artist, but it can open you up to the truth of your spirit. It can help you navigate the lonely waters as you sail toward your tribe. It will free you, release you and allow you to touch on inner peace, love and happiness.

Artists when performing and being in that creative state, touch that part of themselves, even if it is only for the moments they perform. I had a client who had a profession she had not chosen, other than it would satisfy her parents. She was really an artist; truly talented. as an exercise she had to visit an art store and purchase a medium which spoke to her, and create something, take a picture and send it to me.

She did…and it was amazing. Even more amazing was how she felt during the time she was creating it, it opened her up to herself and her joy. If she was to continue to do this on a daily basis, she would touch on the hidden parts of herself, letting them surface, perhaps even accepting them. It could set be the start in setting herself free!

Being who you are and belonging is truly an inner journey first. The one into self-acceptance of all the parts you’ve hidden, buried deeply and pretended are non-existent. Being who you are is not a human-made perfection, it is a spiritual perfection.

Shame On Me; Shame On You.

Shame just sucks.

It can keep us playing small indefinitely.

We may be loving our NEW choice and then we’re reminded of how we aren’t good enough, failed or have not lived up to some self-imposed expectation. We then may stop doing what we have decided to do…and instead retreat back to the safety of what is known.

If we really want to live, we must take risks…and we must try again, and sometimes what has failed in the past must be re-visited and taken on again.

Shame can deter us, take our confidence and make us search out the opinions’ of others who will reinforce the shame. They may want to keep us safe or fear we may not need them anymore or because they themselves would be too fearful to go in the direction we are headed; they may push our SHAME buttons.

The key is to hear the voice, understand why it is pushing us to stop, hide or ditch our efforts. When we know the reason, we can clearly see that shame is of the past, not the present. Each day is a brand new slate to begin, so we can choose what we’re going to do … even if shame is beating us down. 🙂

Watch my video that goes into shame and what you can do to stop it.

Happiness, Goals and the FEAR Box

Definition of the fear box : 

A place we imprison ourselves without even realizing how we arrived there. It allows us to compartmentalize our lives, not deal with fears, and play it safe with NO emotional risks.

In the box, our actions and beliefs don’t correspond to our dreams/goals. It is familiar and comfortable, yet very uncomfortable too.

We may complain and say we want things to be different, but continue to invest in building thicker walls in our box, while we wait. We wait for the magical day to appear in which it is safe to come out and play. We may be waiting for the planets to align, or a person; wishing for confidence or stability, security, a green light and any other “outside” sign telling us its safe to proceed. This day WILL NEVER come.

Ya just gotta do it!

Each day is an opportunity. Yet, how many people wake up on a “regular” day without a catalyst and take the leap of faith to live their heart’s desire?

Pulling people out of their FEAR box doesn’t work.

It took me years to finally release myself from pulling people along in my personal life. I did it to ignore my fears. Until I was pretty far along on my journey into awareness did it become clear; I hid in this role.

I didn’t realize what a high cost it was for me to always be the shoulder to cry on, the Dear Abby, the “nice and funny” person until a few years back. Let me say, old habits and beliefs die-hard; it’s been a long process to let go.

I didn’t want to look at why I carried a low level of anxiety and loneliness. What belief about myself created this facade? Keeping me surrounded by my own limitations, in my FEAR box.

I remember when I was a kid; my mom told me I wasn’t nice and no one would like me. She said I was selfish and cold; that I didn’t need anyone and was already like an adult at 8 years old. The thing is all of those words were background music to my actions and beliefs I developed about myself FOR YEARS.

I figured if I was this other “person” then what my mom said would NOT be true. I could prove her wrong and make it so people loved me and needed me. (Btw-This was not obvious to me until I did transformative work and took action.)

I thought if I weren’t nice, no one would be my friend.

If I wasn’t trying to fix their lives with my “words of wisdom” or “support” then I would be alone in this world.

Funny, how what you are afraid of most happening, ends up happening.

Slowly and I mean slowly, I became aware of it in my personal life. Thankfully, in my coaching practice I am able to provide without taking anything personally. It is a healthy relationship with my clients.

I have released all people in my personal life to go freely and live in their boxes. I subscribed to a skewed philosophy that if others saw me living by my word they would be inclined too.

Not so.

And how self-righteous was my view? Who am I to take what people asked for in my support or guidance and remind them through honest words?

Someone told me I make it impossible to hide.

So I gave up the dysfunctional relationships where there was no alternative. Ones in which I allowed others’ to make me responsible for their well-being. I accepted in my remaining relationships that I’m supportive, but I don’t invest in the choices of others as my personal crusade.

As I take action and live from a place of authenticity for myself, I realized that I had a hard time personally listening to people repetitively complain about the same thing (beyond venting) or tell me stories, which made them victims.

And if I agreed, I’d feel like I was letting them off the hook to their fulfilling their own dream. It’s not my personal job.

Now in my personal life I don’t make that investment. I accept and don’t try to fix.

I’m there as a friend who may ask questions and be supportive, but not as their therapist.

Have you found yourself in that role? You are welcome to retire any time.

Take all that energy and focus on what holds you back from your own dreams. And if you are inclined, pop out of your FEAR box.

As I’ve learned by coaching people and watching them move toward their dreams, it is about making the commitment to oneself.

No one can do the heavy lifting for us. Only we can do it to have our lives become what we say we want.

I will continue to take risks, which are uncomfortable as hell every day; push me beyond my own limitations and not sabotage myself. I know when I honor myself; I honor others. I accept others and I can still choose to take my own fork in the road and find new traveling companions. Or if I stay, it is from this place of fulfillment in my heart.

I invested in a romantic relationship that was not fulfilling me in any way. Safe topics were cool. And like the relationship with my parents, we rarely addressed issues between the two of us. The pink elephant was in the room; unless I reached my limit of being able to NOT focus on what was obviously wrong.

No change ever happened. …I gave up fixing and pulling, so the relationship fell away. And as I move on, intimacy is something I no longer fear.

I chose to invest in men who preferred to never rise to the occasion; stuck deep in their own boxes. I preferred this to keep me single and in my FEAR box.

Why, if I am saying I wanted to be married was I working so hard at investing in the opposite? Haha.

Old commitment fears and issues die-hard too.

I keep taking Ol’ Bessie in hand here and am honest with myself. I know the fear I felt had nothing to do with the other person; it is my fear of my own emotions coming at me—can I handle them? Now? YES I can.

Pop right out of my FEAR box!

Love is spacious, fear is limiting and once again I walk on my hot coals. I don’t have to slam doors. I don’t fear a committed relationship as a prison; I can just love.

As my client told me jokingly last week when we were setting his appointment for this week: “ Next week could be rough, with everybody “needing me”. Can’t I just go back into hiding and be a recluse? I blame/thank you for this.”

My client is in a healthy, happy relationship now, a great social life and developing a whole new division of his business for himself too.

He is one of the reasons I coach, watching people pop out of their FEAR boxes and create the happy life they want.