This week I was teaching a class on the body in my Fire Woman Program. I gave the women a body ritual to do and none of those present had done it, which I thought was odd. The ritual involves letting go of the negative ideas, thoughts and behaviors about your body so you can be more free and loving with it.
One of them said, “I think I’m not doing the ritual because I’m sort of afraid of the unknown. What will happen if I change? What if I let go of all the things I’m used to doing, the things I am comfortable with?”
Another woman agreed. She was having the same fear and knew it only when another woman spoke it aloud.
This is why I love group work around sexuality—a topic most people usually keep in their own heads. We can bring things out and examine them together and support each other to shift them. We can hear our story when another person verbalizes it and see it from another angle. We can wrestle together with the things that keep us chained to old patterns and ways of being and have the courage, supported by a group of like-minded seekers, to do something new.
And this week I was reading a book and this quote shook me with its truth:
“When you walk toward the unknown, you must align to it as a place of infinite choice.” -Paul Selig
The truth is that infinite choice feels quite scary to most people. When I realized it was time to leave Brooklyn, and that I could literally go anywhere, I was overwhelmed by the possibility. It can feel that way.
Yet how amazing for each of us to get to make choices for ourselves, for our bodies, for our sexuality, for our relationships based solely on what we want—not on any preconceived storylines, expectations or demands from anyone else about how we need to live our life.
Where do we go when we let go of the life that has been handed to us, and we claim the ability to have exactly what we want?
You have made agreements to those around you in order to stay in your relationships, to be accepted, to feel loved. We all have.
Sometimes those agreements mean forsaking what is really true for you.
Sometimes, you choose something you really don’t want because it serves something else for you.
Ask yourself, “What does it serve when I…”
- make choices that are not right for me,
- set aside my own desires,
- avoid moving towards the growth I want,
- refuse to give up old patterns of beating up on myself?
What are you getting out of that? We keep old patterns in place because we get something from them.
It was awesome that these two women realized this is something they really are doing that is holding them back. When we can be that honest with ourselves we can move ever more quickly towards the growth and changes we want.
In the same class, another woman had made a decision to walk away from a relationship that she wasn’t happy in. She almost screamed during the call, “I choose me! For the first time I really choose me!”
She was elated as this had not been her pattern in the past. She, like many women I have worked with, stayed in an unhappy marriage for far too long (decades) and is reclaiming her own agency now. How beautiful to witness. I squealed with her.
You have infinite choice and infinite worth. This is your inheritance: your worth is your birthright.
We keep our old patterns not only because they are comfortable, but also because it can feel harder to be bigger than that smaller self we are used to.
But is it? Is it harder to love yourself fully than to pick on yourself, or even hate yourself?
Loving is fun. Make loving yourself fun.
You might also keep old patterns in place because you get to have an identity because of them.
Can you let go of the identities that keep you bound to old ways of being?
When you change, you have to change how you see yourself.
“I’m the fat girl no one wants.”
“I’m the ugly one nobody looks at.”
“I’m the flawed, unlovable one.”
“I’m the good girl that always does the right thing.”
“I’m the broken one that will never have a good sexual life.”
“I’m the married woman who has a successful husband.”
Whatever the identity is, you have to let that go too when you claim more for yourself.
If you do not own your infinite worth, you succumb to less than what you deserve and you turn around one day and realize you are unhappy, unfulfilled or having been living someone else’s life, rather than your own.
If you choose not to be in your place of choice, you give up your power. Choice is power. This is part of why reproductive choice is so damn critical for women. We must have full and complete choice and autonomy over own our bodies, our sexual and reproductive choices. We are moving into a new era where we will understand the depth of this need for choice in a profound way. And we will accept no less for ourselves.
When you are at full choice you are free…How can you be more at choice in your life today?
Can you stand at the edge of your fear and acknowledge it, release it and step into the unknown in the service of your own growth?
Say “yes” to you, to your journey, to your life, to your choices.
We are all meant to have the fullest possible life. All living beings wish for more life, a more fully lived life.
If stepping into the unknown where you are no longer carrying with you the old stories and old identities that have kept you in a certain place could open up more life for you, would it be a dilemma? Would you jump into the unknown?
*I’d love to hear what you would do, or how you have done this before. Make a comment below.