My intention is to paint a bit of a picture of my life’s journey, as I traverse it. I’ve seen my whole life as an exploration toward understanding what life is about and why we are here. And lately I’ve been making some big discoveries and shifting my experience of the world in some big ways.
So I will start, in this moment, a warm spring day that is my first day of ‘stopping’ after being on ‘go’ for way too long. And as fortune would have it I’ve had a massage which has loosened lots of knots and eased a lot of tension.
And now I have this time to write.
And for the hell of it I’m going to start to tell my story .. which I’m working out as I go. And perhaps some of my breakthroughs could help others to break through their own barriers.
It is a sign of how far I have come that I can be prepared to share my view of the world, as I see it, without fear of hurting of offending .. or perhaps being hurt or offended. I have gotten to a rather liberating realisation of the truth of life as I see it, and have confidence enough to speak up and risk sounding stupid, but knowing that it’s the speaking up that matters. Because speaking opens up the world.
‘Be who you are and say what you feel,
because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind’.
– attributed to Dr Seuss – apparently wrongly – but I’m sure he would agree.
I started this year stepping into a new paradigm as part of a yearlong online course I am doing. The approach included checking into the body to observe feelings – particularly around money. And I discovered that I was really out of touch with my feelings. As I started to reconnect with my feelings I felt like I started to come back to life and it was an amazing experience of reconnection. But the connection led to a plummeting back to earth and to feelings of pain. But overall, joy or pain, it was an experience of being alive and was like a re-awakening.
Cutting a long story short, this year I have explored feelings, felt into feelings, and started a process of releasing with feelings. And a big part of this has come about through my ‘speaking out’.
My big latest breakthrough is discovering an explanation for why I have felt the confusion and lostness and endless searching unease my whole life. It comes down to an early decision to cut off from my feelings. The explanation for this is ’emotional invalidation’ (more below). This is such a breakthrough to me because I see a pathway to recovering from my ‘craziness’ .. now that I see the cause.
Right now I’m in the middle of a crazy tumultuous time of trying to do too many things – which leads me into overwhelm. But ’emotional invalidation’ also explains my tendency to get caught in overwhelm .. so there is hope. In a sort of cauldron of intensity I have been trying to do way too much in the past year and things are approaching high intensity with some full time work experience for one of my courses coming up in just over a week. So I’m currently getting my life sorted, and my head sorted, my house sorted, my garden sorted .. getting a grip on what my priorities are and doing a major overhaul.
For two years I did a challenge of taking and sharing #365days of photos on Instagram. I did a nosedive with that early this year. Life felt too raw. But I am preparing to start again. It feels very vulnerable to put photos of my life onto the internet. But it’s good too. A healthy challenge. Courage will prevail.
Circles of Life
I am due to officially launch my ‘Circles of Life’ (words for the journey) rings on 11/11 .. with butterfly tattoos being printed right now. I plan to start simply with a Paypal button on this website. An Etsy shop is also underway. I’m making a short video to share the concept and the journey.
I feel like I am becoming so much clearer in my understanding of the world lately. Like stepping through a threshold. I’ve been quite obsessed with clarity for a long time. I see how I have wanted it in every area of my life .. in a desperate attempt to deal with the minutia of life. Without letting go of thoughts, ideas or things, (but careful selection) my life has been a process of increasing clutter with random glimpse of clarity. I am finally starting the process of letting go.
In the last couple of months I discovered and was inspired by the Konmari method of clearing space by keeping only those things that ‘spark joy’. This is a breakthrough concept for me for where I am at in life right now. I’ve started with my clothes and felt a profound SHIFT. Books are next. I’ve started by emptying out all my books from the top floor and started to categorise them. It is an interesting insight into what inspires me most.
This is the beginning of sorting my books .. a drop in the ocean – but a definite path to clarity
My life has felt like a rather crazy journey to find the meaning of life. I have lived in a state of openness to all possibilities and explored with bold and solitary determination.
It has been an uphill battle for quite a while,and the journey has involved lots of wandering around in circles. I haven’t even been sure of what I was seeking.
But I feel like I’ve sighted the summit. I’ve shifted things in such a way that I’ve created a way I can exist happily, and connect with the world, and use my gifts, and finally be at peace.
And as I sight the summit I see a reason for my wandering around in circles .. and it has come in part from my disconnection with my feelings.
A sense of hope
The myriad windy paths feel like they are starting to converge. There are still too many of them, but they are feeling aligned.
And so I feel hope that my life is shifting to a better place. Yet each tiny step helps. And today, my rather big step is to set up my new washing line so I can finally have an easy and efficient way for hanging out washing and life can start to feel easier.
Hopelessness, about the world and my ability to be in it, has long held me back from expressing myself.
Emotional invalidation happens when feelings or emotions are made to feel wrong. A sensitive child whose emotions are invalidated becomes confused and begins to distrust their own emotions. Confident and healthy use of the emotional brain becomes stunted and to adapt to this unhealthy and disfunctional environment, the relationship between thoughts and feeling becomes twisted. Emotional development is impaired. Invalidating or denying emotions leads to psychological distress, anxiety and depression. Rejecting feelings is rejecting reality. It is to fight nature.
For me, I think it happened quite innocently. My mum is distressed by emotional pain, and in order to keep the peace and not inflict pain I decided that I would simply cut off from feelings. But that one bold decision has led to a life of indecision and feeling lost and on guard. So the peace pact turned the war to within me.
I feel so validated reading some symptoms of emotional invalidation. I’m not crazy after all. Just disconnected.
- ambivalence over emotional expression
- thought suppression
- avoidant stress response
- feeling overwhelmed by decision making or just overwhelmed in your ability to function in daily life
- sets us up for a disconnected relationship with who we really are
- disconnection with needs
- feeling emotions as ‘wrong’
- distrust own feelings
- significant predictor of depression and anxiety symptoms
- doubt ourselves
- dismiss or minimise our true feelings
- constantly question ourselves
- operates to block our true feelings, self and needs
- addictions to ease the pain we feel when we are disconnected from who we really are
My life has felt like an infinite puzzle. But some major pieces are falling into place.
Another big discovery I made about 1 3/4 years ago, was that I need to speak up. I had gotten so used to battening down the hatches and keeping to myself and endlessly thinking without speaking, that I started to drive myself crazy.
I discovered that my being quiet wasn’t serving me, and wasn’t serving the world either. This blog is a part of that journey.
My lesson right now is on ‘being’ .. coming down to earth, being in my body, feeling whatever comes up as part of being alive and breathing into it .. not trying to escape it. And of course, pushing through the unpleasantness.
And slowly .. my life is evolving ..
This post is another step in my journey.
Welcome to Ulysses, part of the beauty, joy and expression I am sharing as part of my own journey.