“It’s ok for you to desire the big dog, Maralyn!” I heard these unlikely words in an Open Coaching session with Dave Buck this week. In the final section of the inaugural Coachville Simply Brilliant program, we were exploring our relationship with Visibility.
I know in my bones the principles and practices I teach, and the observation-conversations my clients and I engage really DO make a difference. If you’ve been following my Musings, you know how central Realizing RICH Relationships is to me, and that for some time I’ve wanted to do more introductory programs, to support another group of people Diving Deeper, and to enjoy the participation of many others in the local Meetup group I host. I’ve had these ideas, but they’d not been realized. Hmmmmm, my curiosity was piqued.
As I was reflecting I realized while the idea of everyone in our world living with all those R-I-C-H qualities is very real for me (if you don’t know these, you can see them over in the sidebar, or here!) I recognized that my capacity to immerse myself and feel the possibility of this deep desire being fulfilled was fleeting. When I tried to, it felt like I was trying to hold onto something slippery. While I’m clear everyone in the world Realizing RICH Relationships isn’t likely to occur in my lifetime, it was hard for me to feel the delightful juiciness of the possibility of this ever being so.
Unleashing the creative power of our deep desires requires us to tap into the resources, and clear anything in the path of our truly connecting with and inhabiting them. And I knew that meant I’d need to be be present to any thoughts, emotions and sensations that arose as I did so. I was clear on the process, but I didn’t know what was getting in my way.
The kind of giant stuffed dog my friend Sally got for Christmas
I don’t know if this is a practice you engage as regularly as I do, but that night I went to sleep with the intention that I’d wake with more clarity – something would come to me in a dream, a waking thought, perhaps something that showed up in my email Inbox.
As soon as I awoke the next morning, an experience from my childhood came to mind.
One Christmas, we were maybe 6 or 7, my friend Sally and I both asked Santa for a stuffed animal. And he delivered! Well ….. sort of.
Sally got a GIANT stuffed dog – it seemed almost as big as she was. I got a tiny little lamb – about 6 inches high.
I remember being very upset. My lamb was sweet, but I really wanted something BIG, like my friend Sally.
And I went to my mother crying. In that moment, she responded in a way that’s served me well for years. I’ve shared it as a piece of wisdom many times.
She spoke to me about life coming as a package. We can’t pick and choose to have this from my package and that from yours.
Even as a child that made sense to me. While Sally had some really wonderful things in her package, I was clear then (and this has never changed) that there was no one else whose package seemed more desirable to me than my own.
But there were a couple other things I’d never recognized until earlier this week.
As valuable as that teaching has been for me, what my child mind also absorbed was the idea that BIG wasn’t part of my package. Things in my package were small and sweet. This has meant I’ve actually been pretty adaptable, not needing much to feel satisfied.
The little lamb that I got for Christmas nearly 60 years ago …
But the other thing I side-stepped in that moment of buying so fully into the idea of my package, was a minimization and the stuffing of the enormous disappointment that was such an understandable emotional response to not having this BIG childhood desire fulfilled.
As a parent, I know the huge desire for our kids to not have to feel that kind of pain. AND, I know that having the capacity to be present to all kinds of big emotions moving through us is an essential life skill for us all!
One of the benefits of being satisfied with my small and sweet life package was that it protected me from the pain of having BIG dog desires that may not be met. Not connecting deeply with BIG desires has meant I could avoid feeling the pain of their absence.
And while that served me well for a long time, it’s abundantly clear to me that it’s time to step into a BIGGER space – of desire, and of visibility.So I was deeply thankful for the company of Dave who held the space and explored with me, and others in my Simply Brilliant cohort who also held space and witnessed my experience in that call on Wednesday. When it was time for me to hold that BIG dog desire of a world where Realizing RICH Relationships is the norm, and be present to the thoughts, emotions, and sensations that surfaced in my body, there were a number of things stirring.
But we focused our attention on my heart and chest area where the energy of the grief, pain, and disappointment that arose at the absence of RICH Relationships in so many arenas in our world felt most intense. While being held in this powerfully supportive witnessing container, I breathed and allowed my loving attention to rest on that energy of disappointment, while really appreciating the parts of me that were willing to care so deeply.
I/we stayed there until the sensations had dissipated enough that I was clear I could come back here and be present on my own. That slippery feeling was no longer there. I could imagine reaching out and having others respond positively to my invitations. I was able to access to the energy of my desire for this and other BIG things in my life!
Since then I’ve recognized the presence of other examples of this little-BIG theme in my life. You can have a look at one I wrote about in an earlier Musing here.
I’ve also continued to practice feeling into the felt sense of having my BIG desires fulfilled, as well as being present to other pockets of old painful energy that I notice. And in sharing this experience in this Musing, I’m both inviting you to witness and hold me in possibility here, and to wonder whether there might be something here that feels resonant for you?
I’m excited about the possibility of there being a way for me (and our currently small but powerful Realizing RICH Relationships community) to support you as you more clearly embrace your own deep desires – the ones unique to your heart.
[Notice I’ve added a PS at the end of this note – the morning after I posted this, more realizations were emerging!]
As always, there’s SO MUCH MORE to explore here! And if you feel drawn, I’d love for you to join me and others in our community during our daytime, no cost, At Home with Maralyn & Friends call. We’ll gather again this Tuesday May 8 on our Maestro line at 1:00 pm ET. If it works for you, I’d love to hear your voice then. If you’ve never registered before, click here.
We’ll share and hear each other’s experiences. As always, we’ll stand for possibility, and will encourage one another in the practice of expanding our capacity for powerfully, honouring and expressing ourselves in ways that are both true to us, and allow us to share our unique gifts in the world.
If you can’t make it to the call, maybe an email note would work for you. You can simply press “Reply” to this email, and it’ll reach me. Whatever way works best for you, it’ll be great to connect.
Remember, you only need to register once for these calls. You’ll get reminders for all future calls – no need to RSVP, simply drop in whenever you can, from wherever you are. If you’ve not yet registered, you can by clicking here.
PS – I woke next morning with a realization in celebration of ‘little’. I again heard Dave Buck’s voice in my head, reminding us that in a basketball game, no one waits to the end of the game to see who has won before celebrating. There’s cheering and celebration as every 1, 2, or 3 point basket is scored! It’s a BIG mindset shift for me (and maybe you?) to recognize that while I want to hold my ‘big dog deep desires’, I/we can celebrate every ‘little’ bit of movement as we journey in that direction.
A reminder that it’s presence in the moment-by-moment journey towards the deep desire that we’re celebrating.
No need to hold back on delight and celebration until the vision is totally fulfilled!
Big dog image from Big Plush – if you desire a BIG dog, it’s available on Amazon here!
As a little girl who grew up on the “wrong” side of town, I really identify with your sharing, Maralyn. Thank you for the gift of seeing your transformation and giving me courage to welcome more healing for myself.
Hi PJ … thank you for sharing this. It means a lot to hear that sharing my experience has been a gift for you to deepen your relationship with yourself. We are SO not created to live in isolation! Thanks for the gift of reaching out this way and sharing you.