Move your mind, Move your body, Move your soul.
It feels as though there is a lot of talk these days about Fear. People come into my studio each day and share their concerns about the future. Personally, I've tried to limit my access to NPR, FaceBook, and other places where I hear the words of fear in abundance. For many, we are living in a scary time. No one is quite sure what is going to happen next.
That's life, isn't it?
My yogi friends and spiritual sisters talk about choosing love. Choosing love over fear. I want this so much to be the center of my life. And it is so hard.
I want to share a story that happened to me this week.
Monday morning, I get an email with the subject line: "Very Important Message from School Superintendant". Hmm.
The email proceeds to share that there has been a "vague threat" on my kids' schools. The police department has investigated and the superintendant feels that there is no reason to close school for the day.
I start to feel the twinge of a pit forming in my stomach.
"Well, I don't like that," I said to my husband as I recited the email to him across the kitchen table. My kids had already gotten on the bus by the time I read the email. They were off.
He smiled at me from across the table.
"No one likes that. No one wants something bad to happen."
His statement is accurate, of course. We all suffer, we all want to be relieved of our suffering. Hearing him say the words - so simple - helped me to realize that others are probably feeling exactly the way that I am feeling in this moment.
I thought for a moment about picking them up. I listened to my body and wondered if what I was feeling was intuition (really, a premonition) or if I was simply afraid. Terrified. In the moment, without thinking that I was choosing love, my body did it for me.
I could image my moments with them this morning as we were getting ready. I replayed our interactions together - we had had a great morning. We laughed, we said I Love You, we held each other. We were in the moment.
And here I was now - not in the moment.
I had a conversation with a new friend (!!) this morning and we touched on an old topic: feeling like a fraud.
Feeling like we are entering into the world each day, putting on a mask. The ole' "fake it till ya make it" method of exuding confidence in the workplace/school/social scene (as she and I both did) and meanwhile, knowing in our minds that we had. No. Idea. What. We. Were. Doing. Not completely true, but you know what I mean.
It reminded me of an article a former female boss had sent to me, which talks about how women tend to feel like frauds more often than men. And that this is in part because of how society has portrayed women in society, and specifically in the workplalce. This article, and another, from a UK outlet espouse that women need to "be themselves" and "speak up."
True. We need to be ourselves, but these articles assume that being ourselves will bring confidence. I think there is a layer deeper than that.
At my last corporate job, I wore my confidence like armor. I suited up each day. The confidence wasn't true - I didn't feel confident - I acted confident. And this is why I believe that I felt like a fraud. We like to put ourselves in boxes. Power bitch, bookworm, crybaby. I'm all of those things, sometimes all within one hour of the day.
My own feelings of self-worth have been all tangled up with achievement, recognition, and love (or, fond feelings) from other people. When I do well, I feel well. When I hear "good job", I feel good. My sense of worthiness hinged on the accolades of my co-workers, parents, bosses, boyfriends, and friends.
And in the workplace (among other venues), I knew that projecting confidence would lead to achievement.
(I did my homework.)
And it did. I achieved. I was promoted. I ran marathons. I revelled when others called me "a machine." But it was armor. All of it. I thought that if I made it to that next thing, that next level, then I would feel... complete. Worthy. Loveable.
And all I felt was: tired.
I don't think "fake it till ya make it" works with confidence.
Now I believe that confidence - (the non-fraudulant-feeling-kind) comes from within. And it comes from loving ourselves. From shining light on to all of the parts of ourselves that we wish would stay hidden. Loving that power bitch AND the bookworm AND the crybaby (and maybe we don't call ourselves "crybaby". Or bitch, for that matter). Confidence that comes from looking on our stories, our choices, and our lives with compassion.
This shit is hard.
You gotta feel it to heal it.