I grew up with the mentality of ‘When the going gets tough, the tough get going’. Needless to stay I was tough. I played varsity sports and I was a little warrior trying to make my parents proud of me by being tough and strong. I wasn’t feminine. I wasn’t gentle. I wasn’t soft. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t mean or a tomboy or some crazy intense kid, but I was intense on a different level that I didn’t even realize. It was my own shadow that I couldn’t even see in myself but I knew there was something that I was doing that didn’t make me feel like the other gals. I’ll never forget going to a birthday party for one of my girlfriends in school when I was in 5th grade at it was at a modeling runway spot where we got dressed up and pretended we were models. Ha. Well, I felt so out of place and so awkward. Why? All the other girls were so pretty. They had their hair curled, they had pretty dresses on. They were so feminine. And I….wasn’t. I was in navy tights with wool plaid short, a navy turtleneck and a thick white cardigan. I was more like a librarian than anything. I remember feeling so out of place and not like the other girls. There were a few other instances I remember this feeling. When I was in 7th grade I was at a soccer pasta party before one of our big games and all the girls were getting into the hot tub in their pretty bikinis and long legs and I was in an awful sporty Speedo and my body was so muscular and short and I was so embarrassed. I never realized how these instances stuck in my mind until I started meditating everyday and all of these memories started coming up for me. Why? To heal them and to heal myself. We don’t realize how our past can have such a strong hold on us until we become aware of it. It wasn’t until I had a call with a healer who told me that I do things so harshly. She said, you brush your teeth too hard, you brush your hair too hard, etc. And I was like….OMG. YES you are so right. How did I not realize this the last 34 years? I was oblivious and in survival mode. That’s how. I had blinders on.
I was not a woman. I was still a 10 year old girl in survival mode just trying to toss food in my mouth standing up in my apartment and doing everything to just survive while pushing so hard to get things done. I was rough on everything from my nice bags to my nice shoes to making my bed. It dawned on me that I was so harsh. SO harsh. My lifestyle was so scattered and my healing wasn’t consistent because I wasn’t treating myself with respect. I was being too hard (physically and mentally) on myself and I needed to tap into the feminine. I immediately felt a call to this and bought beautiful pillows for my couch and bed, pictures for the walls in my new home, started making my bed EVERY day (something I didn’t have the energy to do for 10 years), brushing my hair gently, applying my face cream and face wash gently–unlike how I did for so long to scrub my face as hard as I could. Same went for brushing my teeth. I stopped being so forceful and started embracing the gentler side of me.
So, what does this have to do with healing?
And trust me, this isn’t something a doctor will tell you to do.
It’s something I discovered about myself through getting quiet with myself, meditating more and working with healers to help me find where I was blocking myself and in my own way.
This has been a huge shift for me.
While many people, including my father (who I love dearly), respond to problems by getting rough, having a knee-jerk reaction to things that happen externally and jumping into the issue, while the problem would fare better if they reacted to a certain challenge by getting quiet with themselves, accepting what’s going on and reflecting what’s going on. So many people (including ‘the old me’) would react without thinking, instantly moving into the fight or flight fear mentality putting themselves into the victim mode. They push, push, push to get things to work out their way or simply ignore the anxiety and stress and shut down the emotions that these reactions cause.
So, my question to you is what would happen if you stopped fighting everything and started paying attention and getting still and accepting what was going on in your life? When you ‘go soft’ you pause and sit and take time to look at the issue at hand- this is when subtleties that we often aren’t aware of come up for us and we have a shift in perception. What does this have to do with healing? A lot.
The fight or flight mode, the stress response in our bodies, is what gets inflammation kicked up, gets our blood pressure up and pulls the blood in our body away from our organs and away from helping our body detox (our liver) and digest our food (stomach) and focus on hormones (reproductive system) and so those systems start to shut down over time because the blood in your body rushes to your arms and legs. Why? Because you are in fight or flight mode like our ancestors were when they perceived a thread or danger and they had to run from the lion. But guess what? There are no lions in Manhattan. Those lions (stressors) are your emails, your spouse, your inlaws, your health, your kids, travel, etc…and anything else that stresses you out during the day.
So, my message to you today is to start softening yourself for your health. When you soften and pause, you notice what’s happening in your life without judgement and emotion and you can shift your mindset from fighting what is in front of you to figuring out WHY it’s happening. This is when you can see solutions clearly as opposed to having a knee-jerk reaction, which does nothing but effect your health and emotions as well as effect the other persons health and emotions, as well.
Release your resistance. Let go of the desire to battle obstacles in your life to win or be right. Instead, learn how to embrace each experience, feel it out, sit with it, listen to it and learn from it. That, my friends, is a key step to healing your nervous system and your overall body. Trust me.