Picture this: For years, you’re working on yourself, doing all sorts of therapy, healing ceremonies, meditations, and other obscure practices, only to find yourself triggered by an unforeseen event and back in a rut.
You thought you figured out all your relationship issues and believed you were ready for The One, only to repeat the same patterns and end up frustrated and more self-critical than ever.
Then, on top of everything, your mind gives you unsolicited advice: I should know better by now.
When you believe that voice in your head, it’s easy to feel defeated and lose sight of…
I grew up in Poland in the ’80s. One of the cultural habits back then meant at least 3 cups of black tea a day.
Nothing wrong with that maybe, but if you add to each of those cups two heaped teaspoons of white processed sugar, you are off to an interesting relationship with your food.
And your hormones. And your moods. And your emotions. And…the list goes on.
How addicted to sugar I was and how much it affected my life, probably only hit me when I moved as far away from any cultural hooks as I could: Australia.
I remember, when I was in my late twenties, a friend telling me: wait till you hit thirty, then things will fall into place and you will really understand who you are. It will get easier. You will see.
Recently it was my 37th birthday and as I’m reflecting on my life so far, as people do around that time, I keep thinking: wow, she was right! I could have never imagined it.
What is different now than what it was in my twenties, or early '30s? What has changed?
Yes, it’s maturity but what is that exactly?
So often when we experience a difficult emotion we hear: just feel it.
I mean, I work as an Embodiment Coach, I myself, say it to my clients all the time! And I give myself the very same advice also, because yes, it is true:
Feeling it is healing it.
But, there is a trap that many people miss.
When people speak of feeling it, they mean a very skillful way of feeling. That skill is something that can’t be really learned, at least not through the mind. …
Whenever I start a painting, I have no idea where it will take me. Often it’s just a sense of something…An impulse that wants to be expressed. A sensation or feeling that longs to be acknowledged or felt.
I don’t even know what it is, just this itch in my fingertips that wants to be scratched.
And it’s at this moment that there is an opportunity to either say Yes or No.
We can be willing to explore, to follow its coaxing us out of our mind into our adventurous self, or we can stay in our status quo and…
Many of us don’t see ourselves as creative. Or even if we do we might have a feeling of being stuck in our creativity. It may be something we feel we would like more of, something that we long for but don’t really know how to get.
That was my story exactly.
As a kid I used to draw, paint, sing and dance and express myself in whatever way possible. All the time!
Then, somewhere between school and becoming a ‘responsible adult’, the seriousness of life started. And my creative spark began shriveling away.
I could still feel it there…
My journey of healing started many years ago when I was in Australia. I remember that back then I was so full of anxiety that oftentimes I even found it hard to get out of bed. To make it worse, I judged myself for it a lot.
How could I not? After all, what was wrong with me?! I hadn’t suffered ‘major’ trauma during childhood, my parents were loving (to their best abilities at least) and I grew up in a safe environment with enough food every day. So why couldn’t I simply be normal? …
I remember that time when I picked up painting again after ten years of not touching it. It was painful.
First I pulled out my canvases, bought some cheap acrylic paints and brushes, and then…waited till they accumulated dust and my inner critic was able to have the best party ever:
‘See, you said you would paint, and here you are, you loser, you will never get there! You are not an artist, just forget it!’
Why was it so hard to just start? Why was there so much resistance to doing what I remembered I loved doing?
I believe that our creativity is essential to our well-being, but before I explain why, I would first love to share my story with you.
I remember that when I was growing up, I was always doodling everywhere and it became something of an intrinsic part of me. Yet, I also had quite a clever left brain: I was good at maths, grammar, and other more linear and logical areas. So I never really saw myself as a creative.
Guess which parts were encouraged by my surroundings?
Well, I don’t want to blame anyone, but what happened next is that…
If there was one fundamental principle that I would recommend to anyone starting (or continuing) on a journey of personal growth it would be ‘work on your boundaries’.
When I look around me at people’s lives (and my own), it’s the inability to speak their truth that gets people most into trouble. It’s the moments when people say yes, but actually mean no, that slowly erodes (or better said: never allows to develop) their healthy relationship to self.
How often have we been there? We don't feel like doing something and yet we can not get ourselves to say that…