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Tears, Fears, and other Boogeymen

Olaf ajek  

“Fears, Tears, and other boogie monsters”

“You want something to cry about it? Oh I’ll give you something to cry about!” How many of you heard this message growing up?

Today I will explain in simple terms how we’ve been tricked and trained into emotional black out and what it’s costing us!

Did I want something to cry about? Really?

I knew who brought me into this world, and I knew who could take me out!
My mom could be terrifying!

What was happening in my little body in those moments as I fought to hold the tears back for fear of what might come?

Electrical impulses from the hypothalamus, a gland located in the brain, traveled along nerves that directly connected to my adrenal glands and stimulated the release of stress hormones. This is also known as the fight or flight stress response.
Over time I, like many of you, learned that acknowledging these untidy emotions was dangerous! I shut it down. It’s not safe. Don’t go there!

How does this show up in our adult lives?
Insatiable shopping sprees, excessive TV watching, comfort eating, smoking, drugs, alcohol addictions of all kinds!

Our lives are armored with these trigger behaviors that act as body guards, protecting us from feeling. “Ew what is this, an unpleasant emotion? Oh no you don’t. I’ll have double whiskey on the rocks thank you very much, with a generous side of shoe shopping.

There are 2 main ways to be at the mercy of your emotions.
We’ll call them suppression and hysteria.

Let’s start with suppression. Ever try holding in a fart? It can really cramp your style!
Just because your not feeling your emotions doesn’t mean they aren’t stinking up the room!

Suppressed emotion shows up in passive aggressive behaviors.
It distorts your perception, stunts your growth and poisons relationships.

Clear on the opposite side of emotionally slavery we have Hysteria, with it’s selective amnesia, and overdramatic or attention-seeking behavior.

Hysteria can be a volcanic result of suppression. But for some it’s a lifestyle. It’s not what I mean by feeling your emotions. Hysteria is more like spewing them all over other people. I know because I’ve done a lot that in my lifetime!

Somewhere outside of extremes is an intimate dance of emotional maturity.
At first I thought it was some wuwu psycho babble nonsense, and then one day I experienced it.

I was led through a powerful experience!

I actually felt the emotions and sensed them in my body. Instead of thinking about them, and reacting. It was scary, my hands trembled, I was sweaty and uncomfortable. But I stayed with the whole school of emotions that were swimming inside, shame, guilt, grief, and anger. It was no longer about a story, there was nothing I had to fix or make happen… A voice inside me seething, “run and DO something for godsake, save yourself girl!”

I just breathed. I noticed a felt body sensation for each of these emotions.
I stayed with them they moved and dissipated. That was it? After years of suppressing them, then years of spewing them all over everyone else, this was all they wanted, just to be felt?

Yes that was it. Turns out, my resistance to feeling them was far more painful than the emotions themselves!

It has been said that the heart has the power to ignite the intuition just as the mind has the power extinguish it.

You won’t die if you open your heart and feel these unpleasant emotions. You will however begin to feel safe in your own skin. You will deepen your relationships with people you love, change the areas of your life that you find unsatisfying, while noticing the urges to self-sabotage with addiction are waning.

I invite you to turn on the light, look under the bed, and peek into the dark closet of this quarantined part of your being.

Gift yourself the freedom to feel ALL of it. Is it that simple? Yes, It is easy? NO!
It’s a practice. As you practice your life WILL change!

Go ahead feel it, I DARE you!

Olaf ajek

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Body Betrayal?

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A recent experience held up a mirror for me to see just how far I’ve come since I started on my personal growth journey. A surprise injury turned into a beautiful chance to contemplate how my relationship with my body has shifted.

One Saturday, I had a delicious day all to myself. My gorgeous husband took my kids so an expansive day of possibility stretched out before me. In the afternoon, I brought a basket of laundry upstairs, set it down and then stood up, but, shockingly, I couldn’t stand up anymore.

A sharp pain shot through my back every time I tried to straighten up. Having never experienced severe back pain, I was very surprised. For the next hour, I experimented with my new reality. I could walk hunched over, twist, crawl, meditate and sit comfortably. I just couldn’t stand up or walk normally. The possibilities for my day became much more limited.

An older version of me would have freaked out! Much of my current income comes from teaching dance, so I would have dropped into a spiral of ‘what ifs’. The newer ‘Vividly Woman’ me was more curious about the whole situation. I trust that my body will never betray me and that its main purpose is to support me and my growth. Although it hurt significantly, I had cheerful expectation that there was a gift in this event and I was excited to discover it.

It just so happened that my good friend, Ungela, offered to do a Bowen session with me. If you’re unfamiliar with Bowen therapy, it’s a healing modality that stimulates the body to heal itself. With some guidance and gentle manipulation from the practitioner, the receiver trusts in the wisdom of her body to return to its optimal state of health and vitality.

I hobbled into the appointment like I was 9 months pregnant. During the healing session, Ungela asked me if I was going through any major changes, where I was feeling stuck. I replied that most of my life was in a state of huge change, so that could definitely have something to do with it. She explained that, often, acute injuries happen when we’re on the verge of something major, such as expansion, and if we don’t seek out a way to move through them, the injury can become a chronic problem. I love the idea that my body is supporting me to expand and that it knew just what to do to help me overcome my hesitations.

Ungela also asked me to ponder how could I move into my expansion with grace. What did I need to know to do that? The answer that came to me was beautiful. I had a vision of a flower blooming like in time-lapse photography and the word that came to me was “Sassy”. The way that purple flower in my imagination unfurled unapologetically and expanded into its full glory was magical. There was no hesitation. It just followed its instincts and its destiny. It came to me that I could do that too.

Later in the session, I noticed that my lower back felt like a solid brick of pain and tension. It felt “Stubborn”. Something in my body was blocked and I felt like I wanted it to stay that way because it was safe. With my Vividly Woman work, I have embraced vulnerability and revealed more about myself than ever before, but in order for this expansion, I would need to let go of my most tightly held reservations. I felt like I didn’t want to do that yet and that I wasn’t ready.

As the Bowen energy flowed through me, another image came to me. Through the brick of tension in my lower spine, I felt butterfly wings begin to grow. (I know, pretty weird, hey?) I distinctly felt these wings tentatively experimenting with opening and closing, testing out the possibility of flying. The stubborn feeling transformed into curiosity. The gifts from my injury were being revealed and they were more plentiful than I could have imagined.

After the session, I was able to stand up with a significant decrease in pain and my trust in my body was even greater than before. I discussed the experience with my husband the next day and here’s my synopsis.

I’m experiencing lots of change and am on the verge of significant expansion. My mind alone couldn’t force me to do what was beyond my realm of experience and possibility, so my body took over and did what it needed to do to bring that block into my awareness. With some help from a gifted practioner, my blocked emotion and energy were able to flow. I don’t have to “force” myself to do anything.

So did my body betray me? Quite the opposite. It gave me permission to allow myself to take time to recuperate. After just a few days, the pain was gone and some major shifts began happening with ease. When I was more in my masculine side, I thought I had to power my way through things I didn’t feel ready for yet. In my feminine side, I’m much more willing to ask for help, to let emotion move through me and to avoid classifying things as good or bad. I appreciate and recognize the magic in this event. I’m becoming that flower, blooming into all her glory, no apologies necessary.

Have you ever had an injury or illness that turned into a gift? Please leave a comment below.

 

 

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