This was the view out my window last Wednesday … and the photo of the crocuses below was taken yesterday. Though not always as dramatically as this, seasons change so naturally and organically we sometimes take these changes for granted.

No one would make the crocuses wrong for responding to their natural, inate urgings, and the warm, moist environment they found themselves in which they found themselves in my garden and opening their beautiful blooms.

We don’t think there’s something wrong and try to stick the leaves back on the trees in the Fall. The seasons are one of Life’s MANY ways of reminding us of the cyclical nature of creation, and creativity.

And yet, when I find myself (re)experiencing a familiar cycle – particularly those less comfortable ones – is that I often make myself wrong, and sometimes feel deep shame. And I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in this one.

Rather than wondering what it would look and feel like to express our essential sleves here now in this situation, in this iteration of the cycle, we tend to go to the more familiar “What’s wrong with me, why can’t I get this?!”

I’ve been working for some time now to shift an old pattern of fearfully anticipating being shut down when I speak and am seen. It’s one of the primary ways I’ve kept myself small and my voice quiet. Your reading this eNews is a major signal of the number of times I’ve been around that cycle, revisiting it from a variety of angles!)
Yet recently it came up again. I was participating in a class where I truly love both the content and participants. It’s been a space of rich learning for me. Three times during the class different individuals appreciated my contribution and named the value they’d received. You’d think I’d be able to allow this wonderful affirmation in! Instead I found myself tightening up – the familiar pattern in my body of my younger self anticipating and preparing to receive the reprimand of being ‘too much, too visible.’

After the call I took some time to process what had happened. I wanted to be able to quickly shift from that tense anticipation of a slapdown, into a way of being that was open to receiving, and able to harvest any wisdom embedded in the feedback.

I remembered the experience of a friend who was involved in a head-on collision. She said to me “I saw the car coming. I knew we were going to crash. And what popped into my head was – bumper cars!” Rather than tensing her body for the crash, she completely relaxed and emerged unhurt.

My younger self loved the idea and we’ve been ‘practicing’ with this cycle! When I feel my body tightening, I remind myself “Bumper cars!” There’s an inner smile that invites my body into relaxation, curiosity and openness.

Nurturing juicy co-creative partnerships
…with ourselves, others & life!