I have a confession to make. When I launched my website, I said I would be sending out bi-weekly newsletters. In case you didn’t notice, I didn’t. Ouch! Not exactly how I wanted to start.
When I realized that I was going to miss my very first goal, I immediately felt the flush of shame. My inner mean girls took over and they had a heyday!
“HaHaHa. We said all along that you couldn’t do this! “
“You BLEW IT, Tina. No one will ever listen or trust you now!”
“You’ve never been good with planning ahead, what made you think you could do this anyway?!”
I know intellectually that I’m probably the only person watching the days tick by and that many others have tripped up in the beginning. But that knowledge didn’t help silence the negative voices screaming inside. I was embarrassed and ashamed that I hadn’t delivered my first official newsletter “on-time.”
I struggled with what to do, what to say, how to recover. So, I did nothing. And of course, that just made matters worse. It was a nasty, self-fulfilling prophecy. The more time passed, the more I beat myself up. The more I beat myself up, the more stuck I became.
This is not a new pattern for me. It’s something I’ve worked with my whole life. I become so afraid of what others will think or say or do, that I am frozen in my tracks, crippled by my conviction that I will be rejected if I don’t do what I think I’m “supposed” to do in exactly the right way.
So how did I overcome my fear? How did I move beyond that crippling shame?
First, I sat and breathed. I reminded myself that if I want to help others move beyond their fear, I have to move beyond my own. I have to practice what I teach. It was time to tell those inner mean girls to back off. That I had this. That practice, not perfection, is my goal. That what matters to me is speaking honestly about my experience, not pretending that I always know what I am doing or how it will turn out! I got clear on my values. Honesty. Integrity. Courage.
And then, I practiced LOTUS Wisdom:
I stopped churning guilt and shame, breathed deeply and went within.
I sat quietly in the silence and grounded myself to Mother Earth.
I spoke a prayer out loud, reminding myself of who I really am.
I reminded myself that I am always enough, just as I am.
Open Your Heart
From this quiet place, I gently opened my heart.
I invited compassion and acceptance to take the place of shame and blame.
I brought my breath to my defensive edges, allowing them to soften.
Trust Your Intuition
In the stillness of my softened heart, I listened for my own voice.
I asked “what is my truth in this situation?” “What wants to be spoken in this moment?”
The answers arose without hesitation:
Speak to your own experience. It’s what you know best.
Honesty is what serves, not perfection.
Don’t pretend you’re someone you’re not.
You want to be real. So be real.
Understand the Gifts
Then I asked, “What are the gifts in this situation?” “What am I learning from this?”
As I asked those questions, I could feel the shift inside as self-judgment was replaced by curiosity.
As I sat with that curiosity, I discovered these gifts, these lessons:
I am learning as I go and sharing my journey with others. Release the need for perfection and allow human-ness to take its place.
Metaphorically, “my eyes were bigger than my tummy.” That doesn’t make me wrong, it just means I have to pay closer attention to what I say “yes” to! (This is especially true for those who, like me, deal with physical challenges that can affect our bandwidth and capacity.)
Given who I am and how I operate, I will likely find myself here again. So this is a great opportunity to establish a NEW pattern. Appreciate it for that.
This is also an opportunity to find my own “voice”, to set the tone I want to set from the get-go.
Speak Your Truth….first to yourself and then, to others, if it’s safe to do so.
OK, here are my truths:
I wanted to send this newsletter and blog out bi-weekly. When I set that goal, I didn’t fully appreciate what would be required. I didn’t realize how much easier said than done this process really is.
I made a mistake by not having everything ready to go at the right time. (Can you hear my inner mean girls gasping that I actually admitted out loud that I made a mistake?)
I am new to this and will likely make more mistakes.
I am committed to being honest, not perfect.
As I stepped through this practice, I realized that I already knew what I wanted to do. I just needed to take the time to go within, ask the questions and LISTEN.
I want to speak honestly about myself and my own experience. So that’s what I’ve done. I hope by doing so, it will help you do the same.
I want to do my best to live in this moment. Living in this moment means making conscious choices based on WHO I AM NOW, not who I have been in the past. It means consciously responding rather than unconsciously reacting out of old patterns that no longer serve me or anyone else. This is what it means to “Live in the Glow.” And LOTUS Wisdom is a practice that helps me do that.
Is there an old pattern that keeps you stuck? Is there a path you often walk down that leads only to shame and judgment? Is there a problem, a question that is holding you hostage? If so, I invite you to take a 10 minute personal time-out and try LOTUS Wisdom practice for yourself. Come home to your heart. It’s a lovely place to be.
I’d love your feedback. Please, leave a comment below or send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) letting me know whether and how practicing LOTUS Wisdom helped. Sharing our stories is how we all learn. Me included!
Until next time,
Don’t forget to breathe.