As I was standing with him, talking, he started poking at the crack, making it bigger. I guess in his mind, he assumed I was going to fix it, so it didn’t matter.
But it mattered in a deeper way than he could have imagined.
Afterwards, as I considered what had happened, I saw how deeply my wiring went when it came to not speaking up when something was happening that I felt wasn’t okay.
I heard that wiring in my head as, “Don’t question; don’t say anything; keep quiet; don’t cause trouble.”
It was old wiring from childhood that had taken over.
I was a grown woman, a homeowner who had hired this man to do work for me. And yet, in that moment when I couldn’t speak up, I was a child, feeling small and powerless.
I was a little girl who didn’t feel allowed to speak up, even when what was happening around her didn’t feel right or was upsetting or confusing.
If a new friend tramples one of your boundaries, do you feel comfortable speaking up then? How about when a family member continually says things that you find hurtful – are you willing to address it?
Or, does the concept of speaking up, using your voice in an assertive way, feel like “conflict” to you?
Does it make you want to dive into a deep hole to protect yourself?
Those of us who recognize that wiring of “keep quiet” have gotten really good at suppressing what we feel. It causes us to lose our authenticity and damages our relationship with ourselves and others.
When we continually stuff things down that we want to address, it turns into anger and resentment.
Ironically, we mistakenly believe that we’re protecting our connection to others by staying small and quiet. This is because initially, if you started doing this in your childhood, there was a good reason for it, and it did keep you safe.
But now, it’s pretty likely that it is destructive on both a personal level and in your relationships with others. That unresolved, tense, negative, and conflicted energy doesn’t go away – it lingers beneath the surface until Life presents another opportunity to bring it up in an effort to heal it.
Perhaps, like me, these are some things that you need to hear:
- You deserve to be seen; you deserve to be heard; you deserve to speak up if something is happening that you're not okay with.
- Your needs matter just as much as everyone else’s.
- You being assertive does not mean that you are being aggressive, rude, or disrespectful.
Practice speaking up and using your voice in situations where it feels safe to do so. Each time I do now, I can feel that little person inside me who didn’t feel permitted to use her voice, cheering me on.
Check in and see if you might have a similar experience.
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Learn more about Bobbi Beuree, Nova Scotia-based Coach + Facilitator
Becoming present, and giving your full attention to what you're experiencing through your senses, is a form of mindfulness that can be integrated into everyday activities, like brushing your teeth, watering your plants, showering, walking, etc.
Being fully in the present moment, and tapped into what we're seeing, feeling, tasting, hearing, and smelling helps us to feel more connected to the world around and within us, helping to cultivate a sense of peace.
Mindfulness, to me, goes much deeper than connecting to your senses. Even more powerful is becoming aware of your inner experience - your thinking, emotions, core beliefs, etc. that are driving your behaviors and overall experience of life.
I mentioned that I recently reached a powerful insight; here's what happened.
After an emotionally challenging experience of helping out my parents, who were both unwell at the time, I returned to my place alone.
I had been home for about an hour when I had an “experience”. I had been crying on and off and thinking about how challenging it must be for them to navigate everything that comes with the aging process.
I had felt flooded with fear of the unknown.
But in that moment, a “knowing” rushed through my body, with a message. And that message was, “It’s not happening right now!”
It literally felt like time stopped in that moment. I realized that I was still living in that moment with my parents, even though time had passed, and I was no longer in their presence.
I saw in that moment that I had been pulling forward the experience I was having hours earlier into my present moment, allowing it to take over my thinking, emotions, and behaviors.
I had gotten lost in a STORY about what was happening.
It was almost like a switch had been flipped and all the stories – my thinking – went quiet.
I took a deep breath and found my body, here in my calm and safe home. There was music playing, which I had been unaware of moments before, when I was living in my head. I looked around me, taking in my surroundings and then looking out the window at the world outside.
As I was having these realizations, I watched as my thinking tried to jump in, telling me it was selfish to "be okay" when my parents were struggling. But because awareness was also flooding in and I was AWAKE, I was able to see it for what it was - old, unhelpful programming.
Present-moment Me was able to see that in no way is it helpful to anyone to maintain feelings of fear, grief, and sadness – to extend those emotions beyond what is natural and necessary.
I asked myself, “Is it helpful to pity, to worry, to wish for different? No. It is a natural, normal part of life.
The energy of emotion is meant to be experienced, fully + completely.
But then, it’s meant to pass, as we move into the next moment, the next experience, and the next emotion.
When we keep what we’re feeling alive with what we’re thinking, the emotion gets stored within, where the mind will pull it back up again + again when there’s no need or benefit to do so.
With an intention to be present in each moment, noticing when you've gotten hooked by the stories in your mind, you get to experience the peace that is here NOW, instead of getting lost in the pain that often comes from your thinking.
More on Mindfulness...
Learn more about Bobbi Beuree, Nova Scotia- based Coach + Facilitator
Bobbi Beuree, Certified CAN Coach + Facilitator is located Nova Scotia and provides interactive 1:1 coaching services, as well as group coaching events.