As a Group Therapist, I train by participating as a client within therapy groups. The weekend before the retreat, I participated in a group that I have been a member of now for 6 years. We meet every 6 months for a 2 day intensive and it is indeed, intense. It’s true for anyone that groups of any kind can be exposing and vulnerable. As an Introverted overly empathic HSP, I am both a lover and hater of groups as they are a lot for this sensitive soul. Since the start of group, I have been actively working on speaking my truth in the group, sharing when I wanted rather than when I thought I was expected, making room for myself in the group rather than waiting to share until I am given permission; otherwise known as ‘called on.’ It always takes a lot out of me to participate in groups like this and I often wonder why I continue to do it. But, I have to remember, groups have also been amazing experiences in which real and authentic connection, understanding and resilience I felt and the opportunity to practice listening with intention as well as learning to receive support and sincere feedback from others has been invaluable. Vulnerability has it’s upsides I keep reminding myself.
The next day, Monday, I was in the airport on my way to Maui. My friend feeling empowered in her sense of taking charge of the situation and I, feeling lost. Where did I go?
Maui, where I have felt Her powerful waves most deepest within my soul. The feminine energy is palpable throughout the island. A Yoga Retreat with 19 other women welcome to another kind of therapeutic group.
Throughout the retreat, my old pattern of pulling myself back, hiding in the shadows continued, unconsciously, of course. When around extraverted self assured women I would fall into patterns of thinking of myself as less than, in-experienced, not enough, inadequate and insecure. Here I was in another group yet with the same issues. Hmmm…..
As it is said…
The Only Sin is UnconsciousnessIt is only now in reflection that I see how my pattern of holding back and waiting continued from the weekend training group into the retreat. Looking back, holding back might feel like it protects me from seeing how I affect and impact others but when I hold back others don’t get to experience my truth and I don’t get to experience me. Holding back prevents me from taking up my rightful space for myself to be me and prevents others from the love I have to give them, stopping others from receiving the support and connection they need from me. Preventing my own muchness from coming out also prevents others from feeling that their muchness is ok too. Rear view reveals, holding myself back holds others back. As an HSP, Empath and Introvert, I’m not gonna lie—this is challenging.
My mind tells me that it’s safer to be quiet. My mind tells me that it’s easier to believe I am not important. That it’s better to be quiet than wrong. My mind tells me no-one really needs me. My mind convinces me it doesn’t matter. My mind convinces me I don’t matter. My mind convinces me that my muchness is too much.
But what was reflected by to me both in the training group as well as the Yoga retreat is that our muchness can, in fact, at times, feel like too much, but if we hold back and remain in our stories we sacrifice honest and real connection and prevent space for others to be with us. By stepping into my space I give permission for others to step into Hers. A dance is created through the energy of our muchness.
It Matter’s…because ‘I’ Matter
On Losing Yourself – the Journey of Awakening
After unpacking from the trip, I realized I had lost my reading glasses, my journal (I know, right!), and a necklace I bought while visiting Ram Dass’ home (the irony is not Lost on Ram Dass’ ‘Losing Yourself on the Journey to Awakening’). The journal, the too much inner navel gazing, my point of view, inner-ness, self absorption. The reading glasses; my altered reality, everything looks bigger and maybe scarier- outlook on life. And, the necklace, a rosary of sorts, symbolizing that my connection to the divine runs deeper than the thoughts, beliefs and rituals of my physical form. What connection to others runs deeper than the rules and roles expectations and the stories? Our muchness, that’s what.
I fear I have lost my mind. I have come to understand, after receiving honest feedback from some powerful, unafraid to use their voice, strong women in my life; that, despite my thinking otherwise, that I am, in fact, important. That I do affect others. That my voice matters and my muchness is supported. In fact, is being awaited on by others. They too need my muchness to help them remember theirs. My passionately held bad fit was that I believed it was better, I was safer and my life would be easier to believe I didn’t matter as much. The powerful charge of feminine power of Maui reminded me of my own. When I don’t stand in my own power it is not protection but rather prevention of the sweetness of vulnerability in conscious connection.In my awakening from the slumber of the belief of who I have thought known myself to be, I am learning just how important I am to others and —I change my mind.
And, if it matters and I matter then I have the power to change it.
Mind Flow is about giving ourselves the required permission to change our mind. It’s about becoming more aware and conscious of the choices we’ve been making in our life and change our habitual unconscious patterns and processes of thoughts. It’s about changing our mind about the stories that we have been holding onto about who we are, how we think others see us and what we thought we want. It’s about releasing what doesn’t work for us anymore and letting go of what is continuing to hurt us.
As that same dear airplane companion said to me later after the retreat, once the downloads were being felt and understood; ‘It’s about stepping into our rightful space without apology and to strive to take up more space. Not so that others have less but to expand the space for all.’
The best part of the story is when it changes. You are the Heroine of your own story, step into your Muchness.
If you’re interested in the power of Group Therapy and what it can do to help you step into your Muchness contact me for more information regarding my Women’s Empowerment Group and Yoga Therapy Women’s Groups
The intricate process of womanhood is undeniably beautiful and complicated and what it means to be a woman is different for, well, each woman. What does it mean to you to be a woman? How would you describe what it’s like to be a woman? What does it even mean to you to be a woman?
My therapeutic approach is Somatic, I believe that for every thought and feeling there is a physical response in the body. Rather than just talking about your issues, you will experience a whole body therapeutic experience. You will learn to identify and connect with your sensations, learn to listen and rebuild trust with your body, experience healing from within and learn to release stress from your body.
She walks into the room and sits on my couch. As she opens up, she shares with me, what has become a familiar story in my work. She, like so many women, anxious in her complete exhaustion and has lost her-Self. As she shares of the pressure she feels to push herself ever harder in order to succeed, I sit and feel with her the stuck-ness she describes.