Asking for What We Need
The Quarter Trick: Listening to our intuition
t’s hard to know what you need sometimes. Sometimes we just decide that we don’t need anything because it seems like not needing anything is easier than figuring out what we need… or even worse, asking for it.
But it’s not.
It’s harder. It’s isolating and lonely. It weakens us. It keeps us quiet, small and insignificant.
TEACHING OTHERS HOW TO TREAT US
I have a not very clinical technique I use to make decisions. It's called the quarter trick. Like a typical coin flip, I assign one side to option A and the other side to option B. And then, like a typical coin flip, I throw it up in the air. While it is soaring up and before it hits the floor, I make a wish. I wish for what I want… A or B. When it lands, if it’s what I wished for, then game over; if it’s not, I’ll do best out of 3. The quarter trick is simply a way of unearthing and validating my intuition. I’ve made A LOT of decisions this way including cities to live in, schools to go to, trips to take, paint colors to choose, jobs to take, jobs to quit.
Finding the Sparkle in the Struggle
I recently conducted an informal experiment among some friends, simply asking them to describe me in five characteristics.
They all said nice things. It was lovely.
Turns out that even among my friends who don't know each other, there's a general consensus of who I am. I like that. To me, it means I show up as me, wherever I go, with whomever I share space.
In April, I met an unfamiliar me. I met a woman who slowly abandoned trust in the process, faith in the unfolding… and became a full on, “WTF, when’s it going to end?” victim, lost in feelings of overwhelm and discouragement.
Bloody joints, a broken phone and my IMPROVED me
She asked me how I was, not present, not really caring what the answer would be, blankly, as if my answer was of no consequence to her. She’d likely asked the question 100 times already that day, and it was only 11am. Checkout line #9 was her home for 8 hours per day. And as such, she was required to engage in the scripted cashier/customer dialogue that included asking how I was and did I want a bag for 10 cents. She looked tired. As if life had handed her more than she wanted that day.
Wishing out LOUD: A True Story
There I was lying on the alley street, blood everywhere, phone cracked, my breath taken away and my skateboard hurling off into the distance. And in that moment, I met the new ME. The ME I'd been cultivating for so long. A strong, courageous, faithful me.
Before I introduce you to her, let me back up.
PROCRASTINATION & MY Spiritual Spring Clean
Here's a true story.
I've been breaking up with my computer for about a year now, well aware of how toxic a relationship it is. We co-function decently about half of the time and the other half, it's me cursing and it responding by literally shutting down. And despite the mere flickers of hope, I've continued to hang on, resisting the obvious inevitable breakup for countless reasons... not wanting to invest in a new computer, concern over transferring files, learning new systems, blah, blah, blah.
Becoming a Container of Love
I've been a procrastinator ever since I can remember. I was never the kid who had her outfit picked out the night before or started an assignment the day it was given. I built complex diorama models until dawn, created morning clothing disasters in my closet daily and studying flashcards on my walk to the school bus.
There are a lot of flavors of codependency... and I can share as a retired codependent, that my flavor was one that in order to prove I was lovable, I gave and gave and gave to a place of personal emptiness. I was a proud expert love giver, living a secret life of total depletion. I measured my worth by how giving I was and how giving I was perceived to be. I was raised that way. Giving girls, are good girls. Wantless and needless was rewarded.
It Starts with Seeing Love
For the better part of my younger life, you ruled my world. You made me sweat, pant, shake, spin out in my head and heart. You made me not trust myself, others and the world. You made me play small, shrinking into near disappearance, silencing my voice, my creativity, and my potential. But then things changed. I got to know you. I got to know that you have good intentions. That you believe you are keeping me from pain. But your intentions, Fear, are naive. Your intentions are limiting. So whereas I no longer am ruled by you, I also do not resist you. I no longer think of you as my enemy, as a dark, gloomy cloud of doom, keeping me from what I want. I no longer use you as an excuse, as a hiding place from realizing and reaching my potential. Nope. You don't get that power anymore.
My Truthspeaking Tour
Love is the world's universal language.
The craving to receive and the ability to give love is common among all humans and arguably animals too. We run on love. We thrive on love. We are wired to be in love. Love is the fuel for life.
Here's what I know... the more we SEE love, the more we feel love... and the more we FEEL love, the more we BECOME love... and the more we become love, the more love we invite into our lives.
It all starts with seeing love.
Whatever SHAKES you, SHAPES you
The letter began just like any other letter I'd written to her... Dear Mom. And then instead of general niceties and smalk talk, I proceeded to share what growing up as her daughter was like... for good and for challenging. For the first time, I revealed, among many other sad and hard-to-admit truths, how pervasively unlovable I felt as a child. I shared how neglected, isolated and unimportant I felt, constantly and desperately seeking to be noticed, valued and prioritized. I offered several examples of where those roots of unlovability grew from and how those roots led to shameful choices and how those choices in turn have shaped my life... how those roots have created struggle... but also how those roots have made me a compassionate, attentive, resourceful and resilient woman.... roots which I am now so truly grateful for.
My first padded bra
It's all happening on purpose.
Wherever you are... right now, is exactly where you need to be. Sometimes we forget that. Because sometimes, the right now, as is, is a tough pill to swallow. Sometimes we want to be somewhere else. We want to feel something else. We want to run as far away as possible, so we retreat to our hiding places, be it wine, chocolate, Netflix, books, shopping, gossiping, you name it. But the truth is, every detail of our lives is necessary. It is all happening FOR us, not to us.
I blame my first padded bra.
It was the beginning of too many years spent feeling di-sempowered, pouring relentless energy into hiding my perceived inadequacies in a failed effort to feel secure and loved. I learned at 12 years young that it was easier to fake a rack than to feel the pain of being flat-chested among a sea of girls with real boobs. I call this my "padded bra syndrome" (PBS). I know all too well the symptoms of PBS. PBS is not just about body image. But for most of us, it starts there... and becomes pervasive. A pervasive voice that tells us that we aren't enough; that tells us that we are broken and need to be fixed.
I'm Ready for You, 2017
During yoga this morning, my radiating guide, Natasha (owner of the Life Lab's neighboring studio, Beach Cities Yoga) conducted a "slow" class. Long-held poses, movement into them at caterpillar speed. And in this I was reminded of how much more challenging moving slowly than fast can be.
Gratitude for my Family Triggers
I know you are going to be EPIC. And I’m ready for you. I know you have extraordinary plans for me. But, I know you won’t be easy. I know that there will be intentional climbs and curveballs. I know that sometimes I will feel like I’ve reached my limit and then you will show me that I’m stronger than I knew. You will flex your encouraging muscles, helping me to see myself in a fresh, vibrant, necessary light. I am ready for you, 2017.
In 19 hours I'll be taking off into the sky, headed East to visit my wonderful, amazing, trigger-igniting family. Yup. That's right. Both things can be true.
I love my family. I think every single person in it is extraordinary. But I also get really triggered when I spend time with them. My head runs amuck with unkind shame tapes... my heart begs for approval, understanding and acceptance. All my "junk" surfaces.