Friday, July 23, 2010

Giving away your power

Often when I'm working with clients particular themes come through over a period of days or weeks. Even though the specifics are different, there are strong similarities.

When that happens I know I need to *pay attention* because there's something for me to learn and understand ... and sometimes to share with you.

There are several themes weaving their way through my practice at the moment but the one I want to talk about now is giving away your power.

What does giving away your power mean to you?

Do you have a sense of having power?

Does the word have a positive or negative feeling to you?

Most of us don't really think a lot about having power and what that means. And meanwhile give away our power all the time.

So what am I talking about here?

Giving away your power can be things like ...
  • worrying about what other people think
  • spending time with people who drain your energy or make you feel bad about yourself
  • putting the needs of others before your own and then resenting it
  • repeatedly putting yourself in situations that make you feel unhappy
  • deciding you have no control over certain situations and feeling helpless
  • letting your work take over your life and stop you looking after yourself
  • thinking you have no choice but to feel a certain way because *insert reason*
  • feeling like you need to explain or justify yourself to do what's best for you

Do you do any of these things?

Often the realisation we are giving away our power is powerful in itself.

We've often never even thought about it.

Why would I do that, we wonder, that will never work!

If you're doing one or more of these things, it might just be a matter of becoming aware ... and choosing differently in the future. It's often just a mental shift.

So, what might taking your power back mean?

It will be different for everyone ... these are the kinds of things that it has meant for clients lately. See if anything stands out for you:

Taking responsibility for how you feel within yourself. Making decisions that feel good for you. Doing your own thing and not worrying what others think. Putting your needs first so that when you do need to be there for others, you can feel good about it, rather than resentful.

Taking control of your attitude to your situation. Calmly standing your ground when people are aggressive or rude to you and realising it's probably to do with them and not you.

Spending time with people who support you ... and being supportive of yourself when this is not possible, for example, in a difficult work environment. Spending some time alone if you need it. Doing things that nurture you. Being gentle with yourself.

Choosing to love and accept yourself regardless of what's going on around you.

The shift

It has been interesting to see that once clients have worked on this ... the situation or the people around them don't necessarily change ... but their whole perspective does. When they come back for their next session and I ask how it's all going, there's a major shift.

"Oh I decided not to spend time with that person/those people for now, it just doesn't make me feel good"

"I've been more confident and clear at work and people seem to realise I mean it and everything is going more smoothly"

"I've just been focusing on what I need to do and I haven't even been thinking about what other people think"

"It hasn't really changed but it doesn't seem to bother me anymore, I feel in control"

It doesn't have to be hard

The interesting thing my clients have been saying is that when they take back their power, there is rarely the resistance from other people, work or whatever it was they imagined was holding them back.

When we shift, it all shifts.

Most of the time, there doesn't even seem to be comment, let alone the conflict or confrontation they may have initially feared. This is probably because some of the emotion has been defused. Taking back your power is not an act of anger or force. It doesn't have to be hard. It can be easy. Gentle.

It's a Sovereignty thing

Havi calls this kind of thing Sovereignty and defines it like this:

“the spiritual quality of not giving a shit.”
“the state of not giving a damn what people think because you are the king or queen of your life.”
“being at home in your body and your life.”
“knowing that you are only responsible for your stuff, not for anyone else’s.”

What do power or sovereignty mean for you at the moment? Do share!

Image: by d3b...*

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Opening to possibility

When you study something like Kinesiology every second weekend over a period of three years you get to know the other people you're studying with rather well.

There tends to be lots of discussions about future possibilities and it was about two years ago that a friend in my course told me she thought I'd teach yoga one day. This lady is very intuitive but on this point, I knew she was wrong.

First of all, I didn't want to. I wasn't even attending regular classes due to study induced busyness and exhaustion. And the prospect of devoting even more time and more money towards study was highly unappealing.

"You won't have to study yoga teaching," she told me.

Ha, well that was ridiculous. Everyone knows that if you want to teach yoga you need to do a yoga teacher training course.

In any case, teaching was the last thing from my mind. I had just left primary teaching behind me, thank you very much. The thought of teaching anything again made me feel quite anxious. Although I'd quite liked teaching and knew I was quite good at it, I was completely over it. So many people to please, so much work to do, so much structure, always feeling guilty because I should be doing more, more, more.

"It will start in February."

Despite my resistance, the friend kept bringing it up. She started to mention workshops.

"They'll start out small but they'll get much bigger."

I doubted it. I couldn't imagine it and also, I didn't want to imagine it. What would I even run a workshop on? I had no idea.

Even though my job at the education dept involved me giving regular presentations to teachers, I didn't love public speaking. I'm naturally fairly shy and I was NOT looking to do more of it, especially not by choice. Really, it's not what I want to do, I assured her.

Also, stop bringing it up, I know it's not going to happen, can we talk about something else?

"They want you to know it will be easy. It will be different. You'll just know what to say. It will be fun. You'll feel like you do when you write on your blog."

Oh. I still doubted it were possible. But if it felt like that, it might be ok.

Of course, I probably needed all these hints along the way. Opportunities to look at my fears so that later, I might be ready. Reassurances that it might actually be enjoyable, if I chose to go down that path. If I hadn't needed these pieces of information, my friend probably never would have offered them.

We get the help we need.

You might imagine that when I met Nadine, about a year ago, that all the pieces quickly fell into place. You'd be wrong. Take this conversation that we had about our respective futures:

Kerry: Of course I love my Kinesiology so I'll be doing that. I might do some more yoga one day and who knows, maybe some workshops and writing but I don't know what about.

Nadine: Well I love my yoga so I'll be doing that. I'll definitely do some more writing and probably bigger workshops and retreats but I don't know what about.

Gosh girls, I hope you can figure it out!

So this year I finally made it to my first yoga class with Nadine - in February, when else?? After the class we went for coffee at Brother Buba Budan.

"Maybe we should do a workshop together on yoga and Kinesiology?" I suggested. We rang the Hub and booked it in, for July.

And so it began.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Finding the words

A couple of days have passed since Nadine and I ran our first Unstuck workshop, and I'm still waiting for the words to arrive.

There was much anticipation and we got lovely feedback on the day and since. Nadine is processing too.

Powerful doesn't begin to describe it.

This has been one of the biggest parts of the process all along. Finding the words.

We work on different levels, the two of us, with our yoga and Kinesiology. But we are realising the words are the same. Words that can explain what we see and what we feel and what we know.

We already work with people who are going through enormous change. We learn, all the time, through them.

And as we go, we are finding the words to express the ways we work with and understand emotions and feelings and the process of change.

Luckily we work in tandem. "Nadine, I can't find my words," I will say. "Don't worry," she will tell me, "I have mine today." And then, it switches.

As we began to write the notes for our workshop, I kept seeing a quote. I didn't know the source but I'd seen it many places and it kept flashing up. I must write that down, I thought, I must remember to put that in. I got home and opened the notes that Nadine had started.

There was the quote, right at the top of the page:

'Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come most alive, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.’ Howard Thurman

When we read through the notes now, we can't quite remember who wrote what. Our words, our ways of understanding this work are beginning to merge. And still changing.

Words that can articulate and explain the energies we work with and feel. Words that give us all permission to be fallible. Words that encourage exploration, that help you to remember what you know.

To really own all that you are.

The light and the dark, the awareness and the ignorance. To acknowledge and accept and love yourself exactly where you are. And from that point, to make choices.

We have had to do all this ourselves to create the work. Of course running the workshop itself brought up an even deeper layer of that. We feel raw too, slightly exposed. But grateful. And proud of ourselves too.

For having the courage to trust and be open to creating something that is new, to us. For being scared at times, and unsure. And then gently moving into and through our fears ... into the unknown.

And now after the workshop, there is the sense of a void.

A silence.

A waiting.

Integration time, we'll call it.

And then, the beginnings of a trickle. The mind and the body and the heart start to re-wire themselves with their new awareness and understanding.

Things start to flow.

As we keep being reminded as we do this work: It doesn’t have to be hard. It can be easy. Simple.

If you let it.

And just like that, the words return.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

A new wardrobe ... for my business!

I feel like I've just gone out and bought a whole new wardrobe for my business. After Leigh-ann created the gorgeous poster for the workshop Nadine and I are running this Saturday(!) I decided to get one for my business.

Even though I've been in business for eighteen months, it's only now that I'm creating proper offline advertising materials. And when I realise that I am perplexed. How did I ever think I would build a business in Kinesiology, which is something that many people have never heard of, in an almost exclusively online environment? I don't know.

Maybe I was saved by my own naivette, because I have, and I'm lucky to work with fabulous clients who are smart and funny and who also teach me an enormous amount.

I've also had *lots* of Kinesiology sessions on building my business and in reality, that is what has made the difference. Like everyone I have freak outs and fears and perceived limitations and I just have to keep working through them as they come up. Do the work, you get the results. That is my experience, anyway.

Back to the poster. Do you like it? Isn't it pretty! Leigh-ann is so clever and so easy to work with. Highly recommended and very reasonably priced. After she started the poster I realised that nothing would match this new item.

Although I hadn't planned on doing so, it seemed as good a time as any to re-do my visual image-y stuff because even though I love my original logos etc, my style has probably shifted a little. I flow with it all more now and the new design reflects that. So Leigh-ann ended up doing a bunch of other stuff for me too - a header, logo, a banner, a magnet design thing.

Pretty soon I'll be moving my website and blog together and it will all be beautifully flowing and fabulous. At the moment the logistics are hurting my brain a little but I will get there.

The work that Nadine and I are doing is creating so much change for us and we have so many exciting plans for the future. Would you believe we've already been approached about running workshops in both Adelaide and Canberra next year? Uh huh. It's extroadinary.

We are most impressed with the Universe. The process has had it's challenges though, mostly because it has brought lots of our own stuff to the surface, old stuff like being ok being visible, feeling good enough etc. Which is ok ... because once it comes to the surface it can be cleared.

Can't clear what you can't feel or don't realise is there!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Sisterly love

Recently my sister wrote a lovely post about looking after yourself, prefaced rather amusingly with the words "I'm not the writer in the family". Hmmm. When I wrote the copy for my website, she was one of my main editors!

I asked her about her comment. She claimed she had picked up some writing tips from me. When pressed on what they might be, she said, "when in doubt, put a full stop." I'm sure THAT piece of wisdom - which of course I can't recall offering - makes all the difference!

It's not just one way though, my sister is the one who is good at all sports, running, acting and singing. And she is very organised. All things I shy away from. And I mention running when she probably hasn't run at all since school!

Isn't it interesting the way we make up our minds about what we are and are not good at.

I guess it is through our siblings that we first learn about who we are and who we are not in relation to others. Being "good" or "bad" at things seems so important and there are lots of ways to measure that - through grades, scores, results, games, events, races etc. Modes of comparison that mostly seem to fall away as you get older, and certainly become less relevant.

It is hard for me to even remember us competing or arguing as children, but I know we did. My sister can remember. When I told her I was writing about sibling rivarly, she suggested,

"Maybe mention that when the masking tape went down in the middle of the room, you got more space on your side because you got the doorway."

I've often heard it said that when looking for your passions to go back to your childhood as it was then that you were more likely to just do what you loved and what came naturally.

I suppose it is equally important to check in on whether you made any assumptions about yourself as a child that simply are not true anymore.

When working with clients I've also noticed it is quite common to hold onto old sibling patterns and rivalries. "Oh my sister was always the one who was good at art/ sport/ smarter/ prettier/ more popular."

Sometimes these beliefs are still holding the person back today. It can still be the reason why they won't, for example, draw or paint, even though they love it! And even though the comparison is no longer relevant.

It can also be true that the attention, time or energy that was devoted to this sibling as a result of whatever successes (or alternatively, issues) they may have had is still a source of resentment.

These days, I wouldn't regard my sister and I as competitive at all. It wouldn't even occur to me. Sometimes people tell me we're quite different. It's actually hard for me to say whether we are or not, I can't even really tell if we look alike.

We are very close and talk nearly every day, despite living in different states. She'll be my "matron" of honour later this year. She's funny, caring, loyal, strong and fabulous. And I love my sister to bits and pieces!

And yes, I've asked her to write for us again (when she's ready of course, new baby and all).

So, tell me about your sisterly or brotherly relationship! Any stories to share?

Image from Flickr: Sisters by mel e mo