This isn't me, or is it? Part 2

Last week in the “This isn’t me, or is it?” series, I shared an example from a client’s experience of traveling back and doing inner child work to heal the part of herself that still felt that she “needed” alcohol. 

This week, I thought I would I would share an example of this healing work from my own life. 

I recently went through a break up, and though we weren’t together for very long, I love(d) this person deeply. 

Shortly after our separation was finalized, I started to feel incredibly anxious. I was having trouble sleeping, I was jumpy, it was hard to breath. I would feel okay in the mornings with my morning practice or when I was focused on my daughter, but as soon as I had to leave my house, I would literally feel like I was in danger. 

I felt most anxious at the thought of seeing him unexpectedly and terrified at the thought of seeing him with someone else… This was hard because he lives three houses over from my dad’s, where I am often (especially during the holiday season - I have family members and friends arriving every week from now until Christmas). 

My brain started making up the craziest stories, that he was involved in these elaborate schemes to keep secrets from me, that he had started seeing someone new and other people knew about it and somehow all of these people were conspiring to keep it from me. 

Part of me was thinking - this isn’t me!!! I know this isn’t trued! I do all of this work on myself! I can be forgiving. I shouldn’t feel so insecure. I should trust him. Where on earth is all of this anxiety and fear coming from? 

But I couldn’t deny the fact that those feelings were there. 

I felt like I needed to communicate this to him but I was having a hard time articulating… partially because even having the conversation felt unsafe for me (something I experienced as a child was that it wasn’t okay to express my feelings because they had a negative impact on everyone else in the family, so I learned at a young age to “stuff my feelings”). 

I was also judging myself that I somehow should have it more together, that I have all of these tools and resources and I’ve done so much healing work on myself and have dedicated my life to supporting other people’s healing. 

“I don’t feel safe” I said to him. 

“What do you mean you don’t feel safe?” he replied, looking genuinely confused and concerned. 

It was hard to explain. I knew I wasn’t in physical danger. I also knew he would never do anything intentionally harm me. I even knew, in my intellectual mind, that the reasons for the relationship not working had very little to do with me and everything to do with two people being on two different paths and the timing being off. 

Yet my body was telling me another story. 

I realized that there was a very deep wound being triggered. As a child, we depend on the people who take care of us (usually our parents) to keep their promises to us. Our survival depends on it. When a parent doesn’t follow through, (it doesn’t matter what they say, it’s what they do and how we perceive that as children) it creates a deep sense of insecurity ie, if I can’t count on my parent or caregiver to show up for me, the person whose entire job is to protect me (child’s view) then how can I trust anyone else in the world? 

This happened to be with my father first, then my mother.* Both made promises they didn’t keep, and both made choices that led to my younger self feeling that they were choosing and prioritizing other people over me. With my father, it was about promising visits then not showing up, or if he did finally show up, he came with a series of girlfriends, and eventually a new family and a “replacement” daughter. With my mother, it was her choosing her relationship and partner’s needs over mine, which eventually resulted in me having to move out of the house while still in highschool. 

That deep pain was compounded by the fact that my first ride-or-die true love in highschool was having an affair with my best friend through our entire relationships, and all of my friends knew about it. I found out after I graduated and it made me feel like my entire last 1.5 years of highschool were a reality that was different than the one I experienced. This embedded the belief in me (though I was unconscious of it at the time) that I wasn’t worthy of love, or being told the truth, and that I was easily replaceable. 

Because our breakup triggered this old pain of someone who cared about me choosing something else over me, I literally felt unsafe. I had never felt this in a breakup before, I think because I had never been broken up with so abruptly with someone I was still in love with and had been making life plans with. It was like an arrow into this deep wound that I didn’t know I still had… which led to what felt like completely irrational “this isn’t me” fear and anxiety. 

The pain was so strong that I literally wanted him to GO AWAY. (As if that would “fix” the problem. It’s a lot easier to look outside of ourselves and say “YOU did this to me” versus doing the hard work of being with the pain and taking responsibility for my own healing.) 

When I was sharing my fears with him and he teased me by saying “I thought you were supposed to be wiser than me” I immediately burst into tears. He took it back immediately, apologizing. I know he was trying to lighten the mood and help me ease up and get out of my fear. 

My reaction showed me that this too, was a trigger. This is similar to my client being so hard on herself for over-drinking in certain situations (see part 1 of this post). We both felt confused by our reactions and behaviours. 

THIS (unwanted behaviour) wasn’t US (evolved, mature, “got it all together” women). 

Yet the triggered reactions point to a part of ourselves that does still exist, the wounded, hurt, child or teenager. For awhile, it wasn’t the me of today that was in control. It was 17 year old me, hell-bent on trying to convince myself that the pain was the same as the profound betrayal she experienced… and this reaction was her form of trying to protect me/us from even more hurt.  

When I realized what was going on, I apologized for trying to make him responsible for fixing my pain and for making me feel safe. I know that is my job. It is not his responsibility to heal that insecure and untrusting part of me, that doesn’t believe that the people who love you will keep their promises. We were able to agree on some boundaries and ways to be respectful of each other moving forward during this transition. 

I also thanked him for allowing me to express my fears and insecurities. And he thanked me for expressing them and for being good to him through this whole process of separation. 

Throughout the following week, I focused my morning EFT tapping sessions and conversations with my coach and therapist about healing and reframing the story from one of inevitable hurt and betrayal by the people who are supposed to care about me, to a more aligned story that I have started to choose people who will respect me by telling me the truth - even when it’s not exactly what I want to hear… and even more important, that I am keeping promises to myself by consistently showing up for myself, taking responsibility for my own healing, and not staying in situations that don’t feel good for me (or for my inner child). 

We often ask of others what we ultimately need to learn to give ourselves. 

“I need you to make me feel safe” becomes “How can I give myself that feeling of safety?”

“Prove to me that I can trust you” become “How can I learn to trust myself?”

I also started sharing with people close to me, instead of pretending that I was “fine” and cool with everything. (Pretending to be “okay” was another survival strategy I learned early). 

And guess what? By the end of the week, I was feeling loved rather than abandoned, safe and supported rather rather than fearful and anxious. 

I had taken responsibility for myself, acknowledge the hurt part of myself and worked on shifting that story. I also worked on releasing the pain, anxiety and fear that had been stored in my body. 

It would have been really easy to stay stuck in blame. Or to ban him from my neighbourhood or town (in all honesty, I did cross my mind… and I maayyyy have blurted it out loud to him). 

But the thing with trauma or pain is that eventually it needs to find its way out. This was a wound that I didn’t realize I still had and if I hadn’t spent the time or been able to identify the root, I wouldn’t have been able to heal this part of myself. 

I’m sharing this personal story for several reasons. 

One, to show that deep healing IS possible AND is also an on-going journey. And that there is NO SHAME in that - aka you don’t need to have this all figured out. 

Two, to show the awareness and healing available to me (and YOU!!) when alcohol, drugs and distractions (aka work, other people/relationships, being super busy or going into helper/rescuer mode, etc) are out of the picture. In previous breakups, I’ve always used many techniques to keep myself from feeling deeply or being with myself and whatever needed to come up. 

Three, sometimes there will be surprises, especially when a different part of you is being triggered, and it’s important to stay compassionate and loving towards yourself . To be honest, I was shocked at my brain for a few days and its ability to create some fairly elaborate conspiracy theories. 

Four, there are so many tools available!! Something that I love about about both neuro-transformational coaching AND emotional freedom technique is that they are what I call “yes.. AND” tools. They acknowledge the source of the trauma or pain and then provide the possibly for release and a powerful shift in perspective. We do have the ability to CHOOSE, every day, how we want to feel… and you have the tools to CHANGE YOUR BRAIN accordingly. It isn’t about “waiting to see what happens,” or for “time to pass until the pain subsides” or for circumstances to change before you can you feel better or differently. 

You can take control of how you want to feel, now. In fact, it really is the only thing you CAN control. 

Five, while you CAN commit to this work and do a lot of it alone, I recommend having a team. Really!! You deserve to feel supported as you dive deeper into this work of healing from the inside out. And it’s amazing what can happen when you make the choice to change something, and then have the support system to do so. Just look at my client who I shared about last week. She said she feels like a different person then when she started working with me 4 months ago. 

And I feel like a different person than I did while I was "deep in it" (overcome with anxiety and fear). But I didn’t do it alone. Since deeply committing to this work (and launching my business), I’ve worked with 4 coaches, I see my therapist for our regular bi-weekly session, and I currently have a peer EFT/tapping buddy tapping.

If you’d like to find out more about these tools or to understand what kind of support is available to you, please do set up a time to talk asap!! I have a couple more spots open for private coaching and I would love to share all of these tools for transformation with you. 


*Regarding my relationship with my parents - I have a really good relationship with them now. I have been able to understand the difference between intention and impact, and this has helped transition. I know that it wasn’t my parents INTENTION to make me feel the way I did as a result of their actions. However, I can still acknowledge the IMPACT that certain events and behaviour had on me, both as the imprinting I received as a child, and now as an adult. 

This isn't me, or is it?

“It just wasn’t me,” a client repeated to me during her session last week. “And up until our work together, I just couldn’t understand why I kept repeating the same pattern.”

She was referring to her pattern of over-drinking in very specific social situations. 

During the week, and when she’s not with this group of people, she is a successful business owner, mom, wife, has her daily routines and spiritual practice, eats well, exercises, and can drink very moderately, if at all. 

But in certain social situations, and despite her best intentions, she would over-drink. And she didn’t understand why. 

Through our work together, she came to realize that she lacked confidence and was constantly doubting herself around this group of people around whom she perceived she needed to be perfect. Yet she still didn’t understand why these people’s opinions mattered so much to her. 

Over the course of our work together, the answer became more clear. 

One day, we did a visualization where she traveled back in time to check on her inner child. What she saw was an 8 year old girl, sitting alone in her room. Both of her parents worked, and her mom had gone back to school, and this child never felt like a priority. She was always by herself, wasn’t allowed to go play with other kids, and didn’t receive what she needed in terms of love and attention from her parents. 

In highschool - alcohol entered into the picture. It helped her open up, get over her social insecurities, and gave her access to a whole new world of popularity. The attention she lacked from her parents became available to her through boys and parties. Drinking and external validation became a survival strategy for what she was lacking inside of herself. 

Fast forward to many years later, and this dynamic was still playing out, albeit unconsciously. 

What my client felt “wasn’t her” actually was part of her, but a very young and deeply hidden part of herself. So much so that it was creating this inner tension of “I just don’t understand why I’m like this.” Because the “her” of today IS confident, accomplished and knows how to take care of herself. But there was still a wounded dynamic playing out. Once she realized what it was and why, she could then decide whether she wanted it to stay a part of her… which she didn’t. 

Her healing work has included daily journaling and prayer, consciously thinking of her inner child and the new awareness she has, tapping, releasing the intense pressure she used to feel to be perfect, speaking more kindly to herself, being more honest, setting boundaries. 

Understanding the root, or the old wound or trauma helps us heal from the inside out, rather than simply focusing on how the behaviour we don’t like is showing up in the present. Often, it is something that happened because of another person (a parent, teacher, trusted adult or authority, first love). 

It’s important to note that identifying the source helps us know what kind of healing we need, however it is not that person’s responsibility, it is our own. That inner wounded part of ourselves might want to point fingers and say, “YOU did this to me, you need to fix it!!” but doing so just keeps us stuck in that old pattern or dynamic. The responsibility for healing the wound is our own.  

Another way that these “parts of me” show up is when we feel really triggered by something that seems like it shouldn’t be a big deal and we don’t understand why. 

This same client used to feel super hurt and reactive when she was trying to talk to her husband and he wouldn’t look up from the newspaper to answer her. 

Her awareness of her childhood pain helped her understand that it wasn’t her mature self that was reacting, it was the 8 year old child inside of her that was still hurting from not feeling like a priority and ultimately feeling unloved. 

When she started a daily practice of loving that part of herself, showing up for herself and making herself a priority, she started to heal that part of herself from the inside out. 

She was now able to approach the situation, and her husband’s behaviour differently. Even though it might annoy her sometimes, it didn’t hold the same charge. She could also make different choices. Instead of “demanding” attention, when he was clearly focused on something else, she could wait. Or, she could express to him how much it would mean to her for him to look at her when he was answering a question. Either way, she took responsibility for getting her needs met differently. 

She can now show up to a social situation, having compassion and forgiveness for the past self who would have over-drank, and know with certainty that “that’s not her anymore.” She doesn’t “need” alcohol in the same way, because she is not the same. 

She is what healing from the inside out looks like… and she’s getting to a place where she can truly say, that’s not me anymore.

If you are interested in exploring this kind of deep work and making these powerful shifts, let’s talk. 

I have a few spots opening up for private clients and I would love to support you. 

Click here to set up a time to talk. 

I choose ME.

I choose ME. 

This is what I’ve written in my journal every day this week.

These are not words that come easily to me (up until now). 

People pleasing, perfectionism and addiction to attention are habits that are hard to let go of. 

A few mornings ago, I sat and cried and cried. 

I should have been happy. Or so I thought. The night before I had spoken up for myself, asked for care and respect, and had set a boundary. All empowering things. Yet it also felt incredibly vulnerable. 

There was part of me that wondered - what if I ask for this and then the person doesn’t follow through? Will the pain of let-down and betrayal be too much to bear? 

When I later said “no” to a situation that would have disavowed my desire to feel special and cherished, I “should” have felt proud. And part of me did. 

Part of me also felt completely raw and exposed and I woke up the next morning feeling like my security blanket had been ripped off. 

Part of me wanted to go running back into that situation, abandoning myself for that temporary hit of validation, acceptance and comfort. 

Part of me felt overcome by loneliness and uncertainty.

Part of me knew that it was the right choice, and that there is no going back. 

Part of me knew that this was an important step in the direction of not settling for less than I deserve (to be treated with exquisite love, kindness, respect and reverence). 

Here’s the thing… all of these parts of me, are ME. 

As I sat down to journal the morning after this happened, I welcomed all these parts of me. I gave each part a page. 

And then I started tapping (practicing EFT). First I tapped on the sadness, and loneliness and surprising confusion that I was feeling. Then I was able to move into feeling proud of myself and the stand I had taken. Finally, I felt an overwhelming sense of love for myself. Love for the me of today, sometimes still in this messy middle of transformation and love traveling all the way back to 15-year-old me who was already abandoning herself and had based her sense of okay-ness on what other people thought of her and whether or not she was “chosen.” 

As I wrapped up my morning practice, the following words came to me: Choosing me isn’t lonely, choosing me IS love. 

This is what practicing Emotional Freedom does. 

It helps give a voice to the unconscious.

It gives me an outlet to express challenging emotions that I might normally suppress. 

It is a tool that helps release the shoulds. 

It honours and creates space for ALL the parts of me. 

I am so grateful to have this practice literally at my fingertips. I have benefited so much from the technique that I have decided to get certified and am currently enrolled in a mentorship program. 

If you haven’t yet joined the FREE “Self-love and liberation” group on FB - now’s your chance!! 

I had a bad cold and then Luna came down with several infections but we are both back in health and I’m ready to get to tapping party started this week! 

I will be hosting one live tapping session per week (to start) as well as sharing recordings and other resources for daily self-love and liberation. 

Here is the link to join. 

Let this be a way that YOU can start choosing YOU. 

Another way you can CHOOSE YOU is by coming to one of two of the transformational retreats happening in early-ish 2020 (what a way to ring in the new year, right!?)

Lucir 4.0, our signature self-care extravaganza, is happening Feb 23rd to March 1. All the details here. 

Shortly after, my client turned friend and collaborator Erin and I will be hosting the first ever QUEER RETREAT!! 

Here’s what Erin recently had to say about the “why” behind QR: 

Two years ago, I met *MY PEOPLE* at a retreat in Mexico. A retreat that didn't look like it was for me as a non-binary human married to a lady, but I took a chance on because at least one facilitator was queer herself (I wouldn't be *completely* alone). I had no idea how powerfully transformative and deeply connecting retreats could be. Not only did I leave the first retreat completely changed from the inside out, but I met some of my best friends.

Shortly before attending my second retreat with Caitlin Padgett and Terri McLellan Cramb (when this photo was taken), I asked Caitlin "What if we created retreats that actually *do* cater to queer people? Retreats where people could say 'wow, this IS for me!' or 'I wouldn't be the only queer person!' And where the topics and activities were specific to the wants and needs of the LGBTQ community?" With her "Hell yes, let's do it!" Queer Retreats was born.

We are super excited about our first retreat in March. I cannot wait to share the beauty of Puerto Escondido and the magic of Caitlin as a co-facilitator and coach with people in my queer community. 

Here's just a little bit of what you can expect if you join us:

✦ Travel to a breathtakingly gorgeous place that is warm and welcoming to queer folk.

✦ Enjoy time with kind, kindred spirits who really “get” you.

✦ Enjoy self-care rituals and practices (including mindset/movement and ayurvedic practices) that have been created specifically for you as a queer person.

✦ Feel at home in your body, unguarded and fully expressed.

✦ Have a beautiful, deeply enjoyable time in a safe, supportive environment.

We want to emphasize that the retreat is open to *anyone* who identifies as LGBTQ. We still have accessible prices and payment plans accessible! 

Message me ASAP for more info on either of these retreats!! 

I’d also love to know - how does ‘choosing you’ resonate with you? Does it feel triggering? (I ask because this is a big topic in our current Redefining Sobriety Online Immersion program and I know that prioritize self is really hard for a lot of women)

Can you relate to anything I’ve shared above? Can you commit to one action for yourself this week?