“And then it hit me, like a freight train of insight. I was not accepting my emotions! I was suppressing them!”
~ Beloved Bren
A Guided Journey Bringing Awareness to the One…That’s You!
The following words are for the mind that is seeking, the heart that is yearning, and the spirit that is being. I welcome you, just as you are, the infinite unfolding of creation. And I invite you to dance with me through another short story from the life of Beloved Bren…
As I peered through the dark clouds to soak up the illumination of another magnificent full moon, I found my Self reflecting on all that had manifested in my life over the last few years. I sighed in relief at the healing, chuckled in awareness of the resistance, and smiled in awe at the perfection of it all. It really has been magical. My mind started to wonder, what will I let go of this time? Maybe I will finally gain the courage to howl?
My throat closed immediately at the sheer thought of such an attempt. “I hear you,” my heart whispered to my body. I feel you, I see you, still protecting me, still dissociating to avoid the pain. It is ok, I will let go when I am ready and for now, I will let go of the need to let go.
Layer by layer, I have been releasing the stories of the past by feeling old wounds, identifying limiting beliefs, defining new truths, and breaking cycles. Constantly re-minding my Self along the way how thoughts become beliefs and beliefs become perceptions of reality. And boy had my reality been showing me some strong reflections of narratives that were ready to transcend!
How did I know? Well, I would get really uncomfortable, my emotions would hijack my presence, and all reason disappeared. My nervous system would be in full-on fight-or-flight in search of the villain. At times I was overwhelmed, anxious, depressed, and sometimes just plain ANGRY!
But why? Why was my body holding on to so much unexpressed anger? The answer to that question was one only I could find, and this was the beginning of a journey to self-awareness, self-acceptance, and ultimately self-love.
As the seeker in me set out for this answer, I started developing a curiosity and awareness of my emotional state in every moment. When I would get “elevated” (I define this as a state of heightened emotions) I would stop, breathe, and call forth my peace before responding to the experience. Often I would run away to “deal” with the emotions privately before engaging again with the reality.
I got REALLY good at “fixing” my emotional state from elevated to calm, or rather, expressed to numb. My mind was feeling pretty good about all I was mastering; however, the emotions were still there and they were getting LOUDER! What was I missing? Why can’t I keep peace? Why can’t I CONTROL my emotions?
And then it hit me, like a freight train of insight. I was not accepting my emotions! I was suppressing them!
All those that I BELIEVED to be unacceptable, in an attempt to be the pleasant, accepting, nurturing, and caring person for everyone ALL the time.
But my heart and body were breaking under the pressure. This was the pressure of yet another self-limiting belief… “I must be ______ to be accepted.” Good, approachable, caring, presentable, dependable, responsible, the list of societal expectations of how one should behave goes on and on. And if you do not meet these expectations you are shamed, judged, reprimanded, and excluded. Leading to a continued cycle of expectations and separation.
So here I was, shaming the part of me that was angry in fear that I would be rejected. But rejected for what? Being human? Being vulnerable? Being seen? Yes. It was these stories that haunted my heart and suppressed my authentic expression. The anger was merely my intense creative passion running deep in the depths of my shadow, hiding from a past world that harshly misunderstood the magic I carried within.
With another level of insight and clarity, I adjusted my self-care routine. Not only was I aware of my emotions, I had now become the observer, offering space to listen to what I was trying to tell my Self.
So as another wave of emotions moved through, there I was, in all my magnificent vulnerability, standing in front of the bathroom mirror in my corporate office, talking to my Self, asking with such grace and curiosity, “What message is here for me, what do you want me to see?” I took slow deep breaths in and out, waiting, listening, feeling… AH HAH, I see it, my message was to PAUSE! To allow, observe, reflect, and release this energy with compassion and gratitude. This was an invitation from my Self to end cycles of suppression and projection and to begin the embodiment of true unconditional love.
And now, it is from this space of love that I say thank you for sharing this time with me. If your heart feels called to pause, I invite you to join me in my practice below, offering a safe space for you to unfold.
P.A.U.S.E. with Bren
Find a space and position that is comfortable, safe, and nurturing. A space where you feel open to express all that wants to come through you. Once settled in your space, ground into this moment with a few slow deep rhythmic breaths. Now follow your breath in your body until you have found your natural rhythm of stillness. Once there, let’s begin.
Invite in a time when you experienced elevated emotions. This may be recent, or you might find that your heart wants to take you back to a distant forgotten memory. Give your Self all the time you need to let this memory come to you in the present moment. Once you have this memory with you, invite the emotions and thoughts of this experience to join you in this safe space to be witnessed and held. Now it is time to pause.
As you sit with this energy presenting itself to you, observe the thoughts, feelings, and beliefs that begin to unfold following the prompts below. Check in with your body to see where the energy is rooted and guide your awareness there. As you observe, you may want to journal, speak it out loud, or listen to the internal dialog as you remain silent. I invite you to be open to embodying all expressions that want to come through without judging, suppressing, or fixing. And if at any time it gets too uncomfortable, find your breath in the present moment, re-minding your Self that you are safe here now.
PERSPECTIVE: What storyline are you playing in your mind? What thoughts, beliefs, feelings are part of this narrative? No sugar coating here! Let these flow out of you without judgment or correction, simply observe. You may be surprised at some of the thoughts that flow in and as you voice them they may get more expressive and emotional. Trust the flow. These do not define you, they are simply messages to bring you a level of awareness. Once you feel complete in this process you can move on to the next step.
AWARENESS: Self-assessment time! Are you judging others and ultimately your Self? Are you suppressing an aspect of your Self? Are you carrying a fear or a limiting belief? If the other person involved was a version of you, what are you showing your Self? What pain is there waiting to be heard, felt, and unconditionally loved?
UNCONDITIONAL LOVE: Now that you have held the space to witness the personal perspective of this experience and call in self-awareness, it is time for a perspective shift. What would this same experience look like through the lens of unconditional love? What about through the lens of grace and compassion for all involved? What would it feel like? I invited you to revisit the experience with the lens of unconditional love and see how the narrative might change.
SHIFT: It is time to embody this shift from separation to oneness. Direct your focus back to your breath once again. Now imagine your spirit leaving the mind, thanking it for the perspectives, and entering into your heart, your safe space, your home. This may come in as a visual, like taking an elevator down to the heart. Or it might come through as a feeling or awareness. Take the time you need for this process and trust what comes through. Once there, ask your Self the following questions. What are you grateful for? What guidance and awareness did you receive?
EXPAND: Now it is time to take this gift to heal and grow. What actions can you take to support your Self? How can you release limiting beliefs and break cycles? How can you embody unconditional love? How can you BE unconditional love? Once complete, give your Self a big hug for the courage, strength, and vulnerability shared in this moment of pause.
I invite you to sit with this practice as often as you feel called and know that I am with you, holding you, celebrating you, and loving you unconditionally.