I teach moms how to tap into and protect their sacred, calm core in order to experience life with the peace, happiness and clarity that is always available to them even when the storms of the world (or of mothering) start swirling around them.
But no sooner was I “coronated” and felt myself joyfully taking a seat at the throne, fully appreciating the gifts I offer the world…a different voice spoke up in the corner of my mind.
The voice that makes me feel small and insecure.
The one that flashed headlines across my mind that read “The Queen Mom of Inner Calm Loses It In Public!”
The one that made me feel that if I’m not perfect, I’ll be seen as an imposter and would be “found out.” The one that hits every shame trigger it can find to keep me recoiled and dimming my light.
I believe we all have this “small, fear based” voice that comes swooping in with a megaphone when we are just beginning to take a risk and embrace who we are and what we have to offer in a bigger, more public way.
I went through various stages of trying to deal with the “lesser” me talking.
At first I’d shrink back, I’d fall into bouts of anxiety and shame and it would paralyze me from moving forward. Often I’d pretend I’d be moving forward by picking something safer and less showy of where my real brilliance lay.
Then I thought getting “brave” and angry at it would silence it. So I’d try to face it head on and stuff it away and barrel through with my plans taking a conflict-based approach. But what happened here is that I would shift my whole energy. And I became less fluid, less trusting, less joyful, less trusting…more arrogant. And consequently it would show up in the projects I was doing because everything started to feel forced and overly reliant on sheer willpower to get done.
A new way to understand and deal with the voice is emerging for me. And it feels pretty amazing all around.
When I hear the fear based voices, the limiting beliefs, the messages from the corner of my mind that are trying to make me feel insecure, I listen. I get soft (not small), but open, so I can hear what is underneath. Ultimately, I’m coming to see this voice has an important message in it.
It is a message about our power.
And for many of us, we aren’t familiar with how to stand in our power with grace and dignity and confidence. So to protect us, this voice is giving us an out.
Imagine that your child was running a large race. She had worked so hard training. It meant so much to her to complete it and you knew it was going to push her way way beyond her comfort zone to finish it (and truth be told you weren’t even sure she COULD do it).
On race day you dutifully follow the course with your car to cheer her on and keep track of her progress. Somewhere along the way she starts to really slow down. It seems as if she may not make it. She is crying and dizzy and can’t seem to get it back together.
And suddenly you find yourself telling her- “Just get in the car. I’ll drive you further up the course, you can hop out closer to the finish line and finish up on foot.”
She looks at you with such sweet eyes- knowing that you just want to try and shield her from the pain and make it all better- and she gets this burst of energy, this drive returns, she’s focused, a huge smile comes across her face. She gives you a big hug, tells you she loves you but that she needs to finish this herself, every step of the way. With new found energy, she continues on.
Now imagine yourself at the finish line.
Imagine yourself watching her face as she crosses. As she raises her hands victoriously. Truly victoriously because she did NOT take the easy way out. She did not recoil. She did not back away when she wavered and felt fearful. She trusted herself and found more confidence in who she was than ever before.
I now see the “lesser” voice as the misguided voice of that mother.
What if it wasn’t out to make you small (though that is what it will do), what if it was out to try and protect you? Your job isn’t to fight it or succumb to it. Your job is simply to make a different decision from the advice it is telling you. To take a risk and follow your heart so you can grow and become more of who you are meant to be.
While it seems as though it is offering a safer route, the voice is always offering an option that will steal from you an opportunity to experience life and growth and yourself at a much richer, deeper level.
If you have a little seed of a dream that keeps coming back just when you start to feel strong and happy and confident, take a minute to listen to it.
Write it down.
If the voices that tear it apart surface, look with kind eyes toward them. Acknowledge they are trying to protect you and that they can go now.
Just practice allowing yourself to sit with the possibility of your dream for a while. Try it on. Get used to being open to it. Let yourself get vulnerable and excited and hopeful. Journal a bit from the perspective that it has already happened.
If you are going to be able to really live into that dream, you will need some “strength training” to get there– what if working through those voices was the strength training we needed to move into the next stage of our lives fully equipped to see it through?
Are you familiar with those fear-based voices? What kinds of dreams or thoughts or feelings trigger them to come out of their corners for you?