How do you un-stick yourself?
By being human.
I recently had a patient come in, a lovely, fairly successful, quite confident teacher in the field of personal growth. She was feeling stuck in her life. She could not motivate herself to do the things she needed to do to promote her work, something she was otherwise passionate about.
She was holding herself captive by her own “shoulds”. She should know how to un-stick herself. She should be empowering herself in the same way she teaches others to empower themselves. She should be walking her talk. She should not have to promote herself, people should be knocking down her door to sign up for her workshops, and she certainly did not want to be seen as less than successful.
She was sort of comfortable sharing this with me privately, but certainly would not put herself out there in a group setting (like the ones she usually facilitated) where she might reveal herself as imperfect. She did not want to appear to be less than wildly successful and was not comfortable with just being human.
CAN WE DARE TO BE SEEN AS HUMAN AND IMPERFECT?
I assume we all want to be seen as being on top of our game. And when we are not, that can be the hardest time of all to do what we need to do to move forward, which is to be vulnerable. But that first step forward is the one that will get us going in the right direction—helping us un-stick ourselves from our inertia. Admitting we are human, less than perfect, can often be the starting point. And this can be very freeing.
YEAH! I DON’T HAVE TO BE PERFECT!
One of my most potent growth experiences was in a retreat we did in Hawaii on the island of Molokai many years ago. I walked out on the Lanai (Hawaiian veranda) to find a woman tucked up under my husband’s arm on the sofa outside. She was looking for attention. She had just done some deep work. He was just being considerate. But I stirred up my old jealousy gene—the one I preferred to hide.
During the next session at our retreat, I reported my experience, my jealousy and my need to hide this part of me. Once my demon was out, I felt like I’d had an exorcism.
Prior to this, I thought teachers are not supposed to be quite so revealing, just hold out a positive example. But from that time on, I never valued that kind of withholding again. I valued being human. I perceived people appreciated me more that way as a result.
What I valued most was the relief I felt from not having to hide any more. From that point on I was much more honest with myself and to others. I did not have to appear perfect, which, in turn, helped others be more self-accepting.
FREE AT LAST!
Sharing our humanness, our vulnerability, our imperfections with a group of people who are also working to grow themselves is often the best remedy for un-sticking ourselves, getting ourselves moving forward. It is where I often most inspire myself and get my creative juices flowing.
This is true no matter what we do or where we are in life. The experience of letting ourselves be vulnerable with a like minded group of also “human” people, can provide a freedom unlike any other.
And by the way, not that this was my goal at the time, but I have never experienced jealousy to be the problem it used to be, not since that retreat. If you would like a taste of freedom, freedom to be yourself, and love yourself better for doing so, we have two places left for our upcoming retreat.
Call me soon if you want to get yourself moving forward. Revealing is not a requirement in this work, but our retreats offer that delightful opportunity.