And the day came when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom – Anais Nin
I can remember when this quote really landed for me. It was at the start of my Kinesiology studies when I first arrived in Australia in 2003, and my class and I were sitting in a circle drawing oracle cards in one of our personal development classes. This was the quote card I got and I although I think I would have seen this quote before, it landed with a full jolting force into my body as every part of me recognised its truth.
“Enough is enough!” is what came to me, I was 37, had 2 young children and was still struggling to recognise my own light. I had skirted on the edges of blossoming many times but would always withdraw; sometimes quickly, sometimes it would take a little longer, but withdrawing was inevitable.
I withdrew because that was safe and known to me.
I withdrew because I didn’t want to be called out.
I withdrew because I didn’t feel worthy of blossoming fully.
I withdrew because it was scary to blossom and be seen in full power.
I withdrew because blossoming wasn’t for people like me.
Yet this time, 17 years ago, as I sat in circle in that classroom, the words and their whisperings were different because the experience was so visceral.
We know something is the Truth for us when we get a somatic response like this. To this day I can remember the trembling in my body, the image of the classroom as if it was a snapshot taken by my subconscious and a distant recognition that this was a watershed moment – it was now or never.
My tenacious attitude is what would have made me choose the “now” option. I was frightened that I may not live a life less ordinary; the potential of regret has always been a motivator for me.
However having parents who grew up in WWII and were British meant it was a double-edged sword. On the one hand being British meant you didn’t mention your successes, you made sure to be humble and you didn’t stand out too much. On the other hand you also couldn’t not succeed, you had to work hard and make something of yourself because of the bountiful times we now had.
So which was it?… stay in the bud but also blossom?… no wonder I regularly played between these two, never sure what was right and where to settle.
But I took this on as I intuitively felt that this was my time, that I couldn’t delay anymore, that if I didn’t crack this nut once and for all, it would forever be a thorn in my side and I would live with deep regret, wasting this one precious life of mine.
There is that quote by Albert Einstein
“I must be willing to give up what I am in order to become what I will be”.
And some of that giving up may be painful and challenging even if what we are going towards is better, and that is simply because most of us prefer certainty to the unknown.
My advice? keep on keeping on if you don’t want to live a life of regrets and “what ifs”.
Take baby steps if that is what you need or throw everything at it in a giant gesture if that is what you need Or maybe it is somewhere inbetween?
As the universe would have it, I was doing my Kinesiology training and as you may imagine this type of training requires a lot of personal internal work; if we don’t know our own shadow sides we can’t truly hold space for others. And it was over the next few years that I unravelled and studied my ancestry, family patterns and my own patterns with the tools that I had acquired over all my studies and experiences. I did the BIG work to clear the majority of the debris around enoughness, value and worthiness. And over the next 17 years I unfurled more and more of me. I allowed myself to shine occasionally and step into the spotlight, accepting that I may be brave and worthy enough to deserve it.
Remembering of course that this is a continuum, we never reach the destination. Every now and again I hear the whisperings of my old patterns but I know that this is normal, these are patterns imprinted on my psyche, potentially from ancestors and also from my own experiences.
What do we do when we feel these knock-backs that keep us small?
I think one of the most important keys is to have the self-awareness to recognise that particular knock on the door and what it truly means. To be able to stop, examine the thought or feeling and see if it really is true. More often than not I would hazard a guess that it is not but rather coming from a place of Fear. Fear kicks in to keep you “safe”. Please recognise that the safety aspect here may not actually be true; this type of amygdala response is more around life preservation from the old days of running away from saber tooth tigers rather than pushing our comfort zones and evolving into more. As we travel up Maslow’s hierarchy of needs or even through our chakra system, we move away from the physical and more into the etheric.
So recognition of the pattern is step one and potentially step two is an unpacking of your thoughts and feelings. And depending on what they are and where you are in your life will determine how you best unpack them. This may range from traditional talk therapy to kinesiology to shamanic visioning to yoga to self study to ecstatic dance to ancestry research to coaching etc and more than likely a combination of many different types of approaches.
Then, as with most things in life we want to change, a plan of action would be the next logical step. When we reach the stage that our desire to change is greater than our desire to stay the same is when we can start laying down the plans for our blossoming. That change may occur organically without our real awareness through our process of unpacking. Or it may be a conscious intentional exercise. I believe what is important is that steps are taken because as we all know, nothing changes if nothing changes.
If you read this and resonate I will leave you with a reminder that it is not selfish to want more, or to pursue what makes you happy and gives you a sense of fulfilment. On the contrary, it is part of your honouring the gift that is your remarkable and treasured life.