Have you ever been right before your biggest dream, and felt completely stuck?
Have you had your deepest desire right in FRONT of you, and found yourself frozen in place, unable to move forward?
And inside your head, you are screaming,
What is wrong with me?
Why does this always happen?
Your inner critic is having a heyday, and you’re left there….
and wondering if this will ever change.
Isn’t this what you’ve been working for, for SO long?
What the HECK is going on?
Turns out, that last question may be the most important question you ask yourself.
Perhaps there is a reason you are standing there, staring your dreams in the face.
Would you like to know how to step forward and get out of the crippling fear?
On Sunday September 16th up at Zen Mountain Monastery, I stood in front of my closest family and friends and took a vow to love, and be awake in loving my beautiful man, Chuck.
The day could not have been more magical and sacred. We felt deeply seen by those closest in our lives, and marveled at the September sunshine that blessed our special day.
We had a three day mini-moon in Woodstock, NY, as my husband had to return to work on Thursday and I had a four day intensive training on non-violent communication starting on Thursday.
I woke up Wednesday with a knot in my shoulder, and feeling deeply anxious.
I didn’t want the honeymoon to be over. This time was so special, I wanted more time just the two of us to bond.
Thursday I headed to the Lifebridge Sanctuary in Rosendale, NY for the beginning of the four day retreat. The center could not be more beautiful. The grounds were stunning. Nature was all around me, with mountains, birds, and an open sky.
And while I WANTED to feel excited and grateful for being here, all I felt was conflict.
I felt so torn. I had waited a year to do this training AND I missed my husband. Non-violent communication is actually a HUGE reason I was able to call in my husband, and I’ve watched it transform my client’s lives. It transformed MY life.
And yet, I was really struggling. Thursday night, I had a complete meltdown, doubting myself, doubting being here, and starting to feel a deep ache.
I woke up on Friday and found myself isolating. This was such odd behavior for me. I’m a Leo! I love people, and I love being around them….and yet, on the breaks I found I just wanted to be alone.
But the beauty of the work, is the whole retreat was about what may be the most powerful tool we have as creative beings,
As I began to connect with what was actually alive in me, I found I had HUGE fears arising around how I would show up in this marriage…..and they were all based in my past.
I was afraid I would mess it up.
I was afraid I would be too controlling.
I was afraid I would push him away.
All the things that happened in my last marriage came rising up as NOW it was real. NOW I was married.
Have you ever had your past come up in a crucial moment and take you out?
Being able to connect with feeling devastated, scared, anxious, allowed me to connect with my actual Needs moving forward in the marriage.
Through the self empathy, I realized I needed Inspiration, and most of all, I needed Self Trust.
I mourned my unmet needs in my last marriage, and brought compassion to my strong feelings. I took the time and space to feel everything and lovingly ACCEPT what was arising.
And I realized my strong feelings and judgements were actually pointing to what was most important for me moving forward.
My judgements about myself in my last marriage were actually the key to creating the life I truly want TODAY, now.
So, take a moment and grab a pen and paper.
Think of that moment when you stopped yourself. Really put yourself there. Close your eyes and connect.
What are you feeling?
Once you connect with the feelings, ask yourself,
What do I need?
I imagine there is a pattern here, and you may find you stop yourself because there is a strong need for integrity. Perhaps that project wasn’t aligned with your voice. Or perhaps there was a strong need for collaboration….perhaps that project meant you were going to be doing ALL the work. Or perhaps you had a strong need for learning. There was a piece of the puzzle you didn’t have and it was vital for you to move forward.
Or maybe, in my case, you just aren’t trusting yourself, and you need to re-connect with yourself gently and lovingly to step forward.
In truth, I realized that I’m very young in many ways. My new way of being, through Zen, through compassion and a vow to be awake in my life…is YOUNG. I started this journey just five and a half years ago. I’m actually a toddler as a practitioner, and a being that sees the world VERY differently than I did for 37 years.
My five year old self was feeling really insecure stepping into this marriage beside the 37 year old, and was afraid she would be crushed.
Turns out, the 37 year old really wants to hug her and join.
And that’s when I realized the biggest need for this four day retreat,
We can’t change the past, and we’ve all done things we regret. It can be so easy to believe how it’s been is how it will always be, but the actual truth is,
You are becoming in every moment.
Change is constant.
Over the course of the four days, my five year old and the 37 year old met in the middle, lovingly. I am the woman I am today because of all that came before, AND I am clear what I want moving forward.
So, it’s time to trust, and to cultivate that trust within myself.
What is it for you?
What would it look like and feel like to integrate your past into your present?
What would it look like to meet your needs NOW?
Thom Bond, who led the self empathy retreat said,
Everything we do, we do to meet a need.
Your needs are actually your life energy.
When you connect to your needs, you are connecting to your life.
This is how we CHANGE the conversation with ourselves and transmute to what we LOVE.
What would be possible for you then?
Sunday we sat in a final circle sharing how we were feeling.
I raised my hand and said,
I feel so grateful and inspired. I came here Thursday feeling deeply torn and sad. The journey I have taken over the past four days allowed me to connect with my needs and now I am SO excited and READY to be a wife. I am ready to be present in this marriage the way I want to be.
I drove home, and when I saw my husband, I kissed him.
Long, deep, saying,
I’m here now.
I love you.
And I am so ready for our life together.
All your answers are there.
What’s stopping you is actually pointing to what you most need.
So, get curious, and ask,
What is going on?
When your needs are met, then you are truly unstoppable.
Photography: Daryl Getman Dag Photo