Where are you making assumptions?
In my Women’s Self Discovery Workshop: Find Your Spark Again, we talk about the different areas of the healing cycle where we can get stuck. One of the cogs in the wheel that gets jammed up is in taking action to get our needs met.
Before I go on, I should clarify what I mean by needs. All humans have needs to be met in order to feel fulfilled in life and to experience positive emotions such as love, joy and peace.
We have our basic physical survival needs such as water, food and shelter.
We also have intellectual, emotional, spiritual and relational needs, such as the need to be seen, heard, understood, loved and autonomous, to be able to choose our dreams, goals and values, to play and have fun, to learn and have understanding of the world around us, to have emotional safety, the ability to share your emotions without judgement or fear of rejection, physical touch, hugs and affection. The list goes on and on!
As you can see, living a fulfilled life is so much more than just physical survival!
The thing about needs is that as humans, we rely on each other to get these needs met. That is just a part of the human experience.
As children, we rely on our parents, family and community. The circle of opportunity for getting your needs met is not in your control when you are young. If for some reason your needs aren’t being met, that little, sweet and innocent mind of yours knows no better than to make the assumption that this is the reality of the whole world.
Maybe you learned it wasn’t ok to ask for your basic needs such as food, water or shelter. Or maybe you learned it wasn’t ok to laugh loudly or to express a full range of emotions, or to just be your true self. You could have learned it’s not worth asking for help or you may have been pushed away when reaching out for a hug, leading you to believe you don’t deserve physical affection. There are many, many, many scenarios I could cover here. All of these little things that seem so insignificant to your adult mind add up over time and create the basis for the reality you find yourself in today.
Living based on the assumption it’s not ok to ask to get your needs met may be a big part of why you feel stuck. And being stuck is hard! It feels extremely frustrating because you see what you want but don’t know why you aren’t able to get it.
The answer is both simple and complicated.
Simple because the reason you aren’t taking those steps is that there is a part of you that learned that asking for your needs to be met was either dangerous, futile or unsatisfying. So naturally, you adopt a pattern of not asking anymore.
OR - you are in the pattern of asking to get your needs met in all the wrong places . . . which only re-confirms again and again that the assumptions you have made are true.
Complicated because that fear is so deeply rooted in your subconscious (the part of your psyche that isn’t in your immediate awareness). So your mind rationally says one thing - I want to be happy, loved, healthy, fulfilled, vibrant, satisfied and living my best life.
But your body is telling you a different story.
Your body remembers all of the times in the past where you weren’t able to get your needs met. It is saying - you can’t have that, it’s not safe, you’re not worthy, it’s pointless to ask, it never works out or it’s not worth it.
Your body and subconscious mind at some point were wired to believe all these things are true, so much to the point, that it becomes your reality.
What I would like to offer you today is this . .
Consider that there is a reality that exists beyond your current awareness where all of your needs are met - physical, intellectual, emotional, relational AND spiritual.
The cool thing about being an adult is this - you get to re-wire your reality. It’s not easy! I say this all the time:
Once you set your sights on what you want to grow into, everything that isn’t aligned with your dreams will bubble up to the surface to be processed and cleared so the path forward can open up for you.
All of the assumptions you’ve learned were true in the past start to be questioned.
The beauty of this is that once these things come into your awareness, you have choice. You have the ability now to learn a new skill, whether that is speaking up for yourself, knowing your own worth, setting healthy boundaries, making time for fun and play, learning it’s ok to rest, or letting people get close to you again, you have choice.
When something isn’t in your awareness, you don’t have choice. It’s like a hamster running on a wheel in the back of your awareness. You keep repeating the same patterns over and over again not knowing why nothing is changing.
We all do this, so once again, please know you are not doing anything wrong. This is just how we have been designed.
When you approach your human-ness with mindfulness, curiosity and self compassion, you will develop the inner resilience to shift into a new cycle of your life where your needs are being fulfilled.
It takes courage to dip your toe out into uncharted waters. It can be scary to ask for something from someone else not knowing what the outcome is going to be. It takes a hell of a lot of vulnerability to show your heart to the world. There are no guarantees. You may ask for a need to be met and indeed you may get a “no”.
But consider this - what if that “no" had absolutely nothing to do with whether or not you are deserving of what you asked for? What if it’s not wrong that you simply asked?
In healthy relationship, needs and boundaries are negotiable. You may ask for a need to be met, but it may bump up against someone else’s boundaries. It may also bump up against someone else’s insecurities or they may just not have within them to give you what you are asking for. Remember - they are human too!
What if this was ok? What if that just meant that this isn’t the right person/place/environment/job/book/course - whatever it is - what if this just wasn’t the right place for you to be reaching out to for support? What if you believed that support is available out there, it’s just somewhere else. How would that change things for you?
Instead of taking the “no” as a sign of your own unworthiness, what if you just looked elsewhere?
It takes courage to keep looking. But I do know this without a doubt - you are deserving of living a fulfilled life. Every human on this planet is deserving of this. We are just still learning how to make this our reality!
So this is my invitation to you this week - instead of avoiding asking because you are assuming you’ll get a no - ask anyways.
It will be scary, you’re legs may be shaking underneath you, your voice may tremble, your heart may feel weak, but give it a try anyways. Make it an experiment. Get curious of what the result will be. Show yourself compassion as you play with this new part of you, the part of you that is building courage and taking steps towards the fulfillment you deserve.
The worst that can happen is that you’ll get a no. The worst that can happen is that no will trigger your own insecurities and old patterns of shame, judgement and unworthiness. But with your newfound awareness, now you know these are just signs that once again your needs aren’t being met. That all of these things are coming up to the surface so you can learn from them and clear a path forward for your own fulfillment. You know now you can start looking elsewhere.
The best that can happen is that you are pleasantly surprised. The best that can happen is that your assumption is busted and you end up getting a yes. The best that can happen is that your reality starts to open up into something new. The best that can happen is that you get unstuck.
Take an inventory this week . . .
Where are you making assumptions?
What can you appreciate about this very moment?
This week’s Soul Note is going to be short and sweet.
Take a moment right now to slow down, let go of the day so far and set aside any business in your mind of what is to come.
Now close your eyes, take three deep breaths and look around you.
How does the present moment look different? What can you enjoy about this moment - right here - right now?
If the answer isn’t obvious to you, repeat the steps above and try a few more times. Your nervous system may just need a few more breaths to help the body settle.
It’s important to have times to feel into our pain, our hurts, our fears and struggles. It’s important not to bypass these things. We do need to tend to them.
But life can be both.
At the same time.
We can have moments of joy during times of struggle.
Today I’d like to give you permission to find moments of enjoyment even if things are feeling hard right now. It is these moments that will uplift you and support you through to the other side.
You may want to set a reminder in your phone to come back to this practice a few times this week or even a few times each day. Get curious to see how doing this short and sweet practice may help turn things around for you.
What can you appreciate about this very moment?
What have you been outgrowing?
Your Soul has a lesson plan.
Life is the Teacher.
Being Human is the subject.
How often do you take a moment of reflection to take stock of what is working in your life and what isn’t?
With the business of the day to day grind and overwhelm of work, family and personal responsibilities, it can be easy to keep flowing with patterns that were laid down in our lives many, many years ago without even realizing that there is opportunity for change.
Sometimes we can be very aware of the things that aren’t working. They are the things we complain about, get upset about, shy away from, feel defeated with or are overwhelmed by.
Other times, it may not be in our awareness. It just feels like a deep sense that something isn’t right but you’re not sure what it is or where it is coming from.
Both can be really frustrating to deal with!
One of the greatest insights I gained from studying astrology is that our journey through life happens in cycles. The energies of the universe are always supporting our spiritual path back to our truest essence. As we move through life, we are being guided and supported to let go of what we are growing out of and to shift towards what we are growing into.
Midlife offers us some pretty powerful astrological transits to support our growth. If you stay curious and pay close attention, you will be able to find meaning in what is happening to you right now.
And if you aren’t paying attention, there is that saying . . .
“If you listen to your body (insert “life” here) when it whispers, you won’t have to listen to it scream.” - author unknown
But let’s face it - we all eventually end up in a place where life is screaming at us to learn something!
So let’s do this. You don’t have to know anything about astrology today to become aware of what life is asking you to grow out of.
You can try these steps:
What is life trying to teach me right now?
I always feel called to remind you all of this - you aren’t doing anything wrong! You are exactly where you are supposed to be. You are just being asked to pay attention and to learn.
So take a big breath.
If you are struggling right now with confusion, defeat, frustration and overwhelm, please know this…
Your Soul came into this life with a lesson plan.. All of the circumstances you needed to learn the lessons you needed to in this lifetime have been divinely guided to help you remember who you truly are. Approaching life with a sense of objectivity through the practices of mindfulness, compassion and curiosity will allow you to gain insight into what is old, worn out and not working.
It will also help you discern what you are being asked to shift into.
Growth isn’t all rainbows and sunshine. Growth can feel excruciating, painful and dark, which is why it is so easy to push the lessons into the background of our awareness!
And it’s ok if this is the case. Actually, we are all designed to do this. In a way, avoiding the lessons is an act of love that comes from a younger version of yourself who didn’t have the opportunity to learn how to cope or manage pain in a loving way. As a result, this part of you has the intention to protect yourself from the pain at all costs. How beautiful is that?
So know this - it’s ok to take it slow. Learn at your own pace. Every shift, no matter how small, is leading you back to yourself. That spark inside of you that has never gone anywhere and is just willing you to acknowledge her is getting brighter every day. There is no rush.
As we go through life, the lessons will keep coming back, giving us opportunity after opportunity to peel away another layer of what no longer serves us so that that inner spark that has always been there can shine through.
What have you had enough of? What is the story, belief, habit, reaction, relationship, circumstance, pattern that has been dimming your spark?
What have you been outgrowing?