At this time of year, I start to feel a sense of restlessness and angst.
It takes me by surprise every year and makes me wonder where that feeling is coming from. I also feel a little guilty that, with the beauty of the season and my life of privilege, I am exerting energy in these "negative" directions.
Over time, I have started to expect this feeling but it makes it no less uncomfortable. As I analyze all the emotions, feelings and sensations that are coming up, it is my nature to go into "doing" mode. If I can find some things to complete, I feel better. Already, this December, I've re-organized all my office papers, thinned out my pantry and deep cleaned some kitchen items. I find comfort in accomplishment and forward motion. I always have.
As Carolyn Swora shared with EWC this fall season, these are the ways I have created safety in my environment as I've experienced situations I couldn't control, even as a young child. Many of us don't recognized these unconscious, conditioned patterns that keep us stuck in our little 't' trauma. We have all experienced some form of trauma even if we call it by a different name.
Fortunately, with life years comes maturity, wisdom and self-awareness. Looking inward with honest evaluation and self-compassion opens my ability to see what is REALLY hiding behind the anxiety.
For each of us, the underlying core deficiency belief (the lie that we are telling ourselves) is different.
As I've shared openly in the past, it's my fear of not being good enough.
It's my false belief that I need to do it all and that everyone is counting on me.
It's my inner critic that is constantly telling me I'm "not enough" and "alone".
In our Circle with Janiece Williams we shared vulnerably about the importance of sitting with uncertainty and not trying to shut it out or numb the feelings (for example with a pantry overhaul).
It's those very (sometimes scary) feelings that provide the data we need to heal and thrive. It can feel yucky - but if we avoid the messages, we may never learn the essential lessons of our lifetime.
The most amazing thing about having this level of self-reflection (combined with self-kindness) is that I can hold these beliefs up for examination and ask myself whether they are true.
Just as Ellie Ballentine taught our Circle, I can re-wire my neural circuitry so that I don't go so far down the rabbit hole of fear and self-doubt each time I develop a healthier way forward.
And, to drive it all home, I can channel a little Sierra Bender and realize that the expectations of others are "not my sh*t". Sierra's story and the way she inspired us to embody our inner goddess (with movement and posture) was enlightening, liberating and empowering.
The truth is that everyone I CHOOSE to surround myself with actually loves me and wants to support me, just as I want to be generous and open-hearted with them.
I simply need to know what I need and, with clarity and confidence, ask for it.
If you resonate with any of my holiday angst - I invite you to try Lisa Burchartz's 5 minute practice to Reclaim Body Sovereignty, right here, right now. Don't wait because the messages that your body has to offer may open more joy, self-love and expansiveness than you ever imagined possible this holiday season and beyond!
These women, Carolyn, Ellie, Janiece and Sierra were all part of our 2023 Fall Speaker Series and you are invited to connect with them and get to know more about their work in the world (LinkedIn profiles included above).
You can also connect with more authentic, honest and 'real' women who have brilliant messages to share each time we meet, in our Empowered Women's Circle as we curate a year with renewed purpose and inspired action in 2024. Registration is now open and spaces will fill up fast!