A few weeks ago I saw this quote on Instagram that resonated deeply. (Turns out the reason it resonated so deeply was because I wrote it!! It was from my magazine article, Exquisite and Extraordinary Self-Care - if you haven’t read it yet, click here.)
It said, “You are exactly where you are meant to be; your story is absolutely stunning -- you’re just in the middle of it.” That alone was lovely to be reminded, but the next part landed deep in my heart:
I laughed to myself because it reflected what had been happening to me in the past few days. Without force or even trying I had reached a desired destination of joy and abundance, but it certainly didn’t start that way.
My Granddaddy had died on that Monday and I’d given myself a full day to feel whatever was arising. The next day, however, I put on a nice face to go to work.
Instead of being authentic and true to my feelings, I hid under a veil of 'everything's fine' and as a result I quickly became exhausted, upset and grumpy.
So I called my mom as I was walking home and said, “I’m wearing Grumpy Pants right now.”
At first she invited me to change pants and asked what we could do to let go of the grump, but my response was pretty strong: “No. I want to keep them on. I want to wear my Grumpy Pants for at least an hour.”
I didn’t want to pretend anymore, I wanted to be authentic and feel what was coming up.
I could sense her smile a little on the other end.
Within a moment, her goal shifted. Now it wasn’t to change how I was feeling, it was just to be with me here.
She asked me why I was feeling so grumpy and I told her about the day and my feelings about Granddaddy - and Grandma, too, since she had died a few months prior.
Here’s what’s awesome: After fully embodying my feelings and being accepted and loved even with my Grumpy Pants on, I transformed.
About 5 minutes later (not the hour that I thought I needed), I told my mom that my pants had changed to 'Meh Pants' and in another few minutes they were 'OK Pants.'
The following day I didn’t pretend. I spent the day working, experiencing joy, but also felt sad and cried with friends and told stories about my Grandparents. I was authentic.
I was exactly me, in my story, in the present moment.
Let me tell you, it felt so good to be real! It also took so much less effort.
On my way home I saw my own quote on Instagram (the one that resonated so deeply!) posted by someone else, learned that a dozen people had signed up for my Highly Sensitive & Thriving webinar and was asked out of the blue to co-teach a workshop with a friend in June.
I called my mom again - almost exactly 24 hours after the Grumpy Pants conversation - and said: “I don’t know how this happened, but I’m wearing Abundance Pants.”
We both laughed and I continued, “I wasn’t planning on it, I didn’t even think it was the season for Abundance Pants, but here I am walking around in full Abundance glory!”
When you allow yourself to be authentic and true and release your grip on anything but where you are, then all the feelings can naturally flow through you. Be fully felt and then fully released.
A few days later I was overcome by a wave of sadness. But again, instead of numbing, avoiding or hiding it, I felt it fully. It was actually the first morning of a 2-day Yoga Intensive Training at Strala Yoga and I literally walked in and told Tara and Mike (the founders) what I was feeling. Just as my mom had, they stood by me, allowed me to feel, accepted me there... and sure enough I had an exquisitely joyful and abundant weekend.
If I had held in my feelings that first morning, I likely would have held onto my sadness much longer.
In both of the above examples, I was also blessed to have loving and kind humans meet me with love and acceptance.
You, too, can give this blessing to others.
Whether it's your kids, friends or clients, acknowledge and accept them where they are. The goal is not to fix or change them, but to stand next to them in love.
Likely, if they let themselves feel fully, they will begin to transform on their own.
I would love to hear where you are now in your story. Share in the comments below or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Big big love and many blessings,