I love how life sometimes teaches us the exact lesson we need to learn and the catalyst for the lesson usually comes in the form of a big BANG. It is a moment or a combination of circumstances that finally gets our attention because the pain and suffering are present, and life becomes very uncomfortable . That moment can be the loss of someone, the break of a relationship, a hot hard argument with a partner, loss of income or money, failure of a business, an illness, anxiety, depression and the list goes on. No matter what it is, we all experience that moment that we know that something needs to change, otherwise we are heading to a hard crash.
It is unfortunate that we all are so stubborn at times, yes, us high achievers, Americans who want to succeed, push and achieve our goals. Nothing wrong with that, you know I love teaching and achieving goals, but as I talked about this briefly before, this drive for achievement can come with a big shadow that causes us to suffer by letting our heads control all our decisions. We are not the only ones that suffer, those around us suffer as well. In order for driven people like us to change, many times we need to hurt a lot before we realize we need to do something.
I coach many people who are at the point, that is why they reached out.
I understand my clients not because I read books about stress, anxiety and fear, but because I experienced that suffering myself, and from time to time I experience again in different levels, deeper because that is how growth and healing happen, in layers and phases. We move thorough one phase, get better, wiser, we cruise for a while and another phase comes when we are ready to go deeper and closer to who we truly are, to our essence.
This process is about letting go “stuff” – our baggage, stuff that builds up in our bodies since we were kids and it keeps getting built also during our adult life as we go through traumas, losses and we decide to use force or overpower to move through it. We adopt beliefs that serve us to a certain point until we realize that those beliefs that served and protected us also kept us from reaching the center of our awareness, wisdom and connection – The Heart.
Our culture is suffering in many levels and until we all start connecting more to our hearts, this suffering will continue. Let’s start small, close to home and address our own connection with our heart because that is how we will give others inspiration and permission to open their hearts. We need to open ours first.
I notice that every time I get caught in psychological stress is because I am disconnected from my heart. Until not long ago I used to think that I needed answers outside myself, like I needed to read another book, I needed another course, another seminar…in summary something outside myself.
There is nothing outside ourselves that will resolve the pain we carry inside.
The heart is the place we need to go for healing and still, it is a place that most people who are suffering fear to go. Why? Why the longest journey we take in our lives is between the head and the heart? What can be so frightening about the heart?
As I go deeper in my spiritual and emotional work I think I have some clues of why we are afraid of our hearts – false beliefs. Because we believe that if we go there we will find our weaknesses, our hurt that will cause us more pain and discomfort, we will face the fact that we might truly miss someone, that we need to forgive – ourselves, our inner child or someone else. We have a false belief that going to our hearts and touching our pain will make us vulnerable, soft and weak. When there is trauma the fear is to feel that suffering all over again.
We MUST go there, it will makes us vulnerable and that is necessary, and STRONG because looking at ourselves, our own shadows and our deep hurt is COURAGE. It is by going to our hearts and allowing ourselves to feel those old trapped emotions that release and healing can begin, and with that we feel more free and more peaceful. Trapped emotions in the body cause disharmony and it can cause disease over time. It certainly causes disease in the mind because we distort reality, we see the world from the lenses of those trapped emotions, we don’t see the real truth.
Courage is not to push through suffering, to hustle every day, to work hard 60 hours a week. That can be a form of escaping, that is running away and that is definitely not courage.
What are we trying to prove by pushing ourselves so hard? That we can be worthy? And that in order to feel worthy we must be successful? Well, honestly that was me. I was carrying this low grade anxiety, pushing myself, telling myself every day that I was fine, using positive thinking in times that I need to use deep “hearting” , in order words, allow myself to FEEL, and not focus on what to DO. Remember the BE, DO, HAVE?
I am so grateful for the times life takes me for a little spin downward because I get to feel even more what my clients might be experiencing, what is like to feel this pressure to be successful and excellent all the time. It makes me more human, more humble, more heart centered, more compassionate and certainly stronger because I know myself deeper and better. And when I am working from my heart first and not my head first, everything is better. My work is better, writing is better, my coaching is better, my relationship is more loving, my body is healthier and my mind is calmer.
That is the state of flow and fun.
Peace and love, Alex.