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Time travel with me.
It's six years ago and a deeply bewildered but curious me is sitting on an IKEA Poang chair in a small room. I'm surrounded by curios - feathers and stones artfully arranged, making altars of corners, windowsills and the rims of plant saucers. There are bookshelves heavy not so much with books but with the material those books contain. Titles like "A Course in Miracles," "Women Who Run With The Wolves," "The Owl Was A Baker's Daughter," "The Red Book" & "Boundaries of the Soul" make me feel like maybe I've made an appointment for guidance counseling at Hogwarts. My appointment is with a Jungian analyst, who, for those unfamiliar with this particular therapeutic journey, is an amalgam of space-holder, dream-interpreter, symbol-incubator and soul-excavator. I took a deep breath, buckled up the invisible seat belt on my Poang, and started the spiraling descent into myself.
What unfolded from that initial exploratory dig is at once both simple and utterly complex.
I believe there are vast territories within us all that are ripe for exploration and that the journey within has as many splendors, obstacles and helpful guides as any of the great adventure novels.
However, in my experience, it all boils down to the simple act of shining light on that which has yet to meet the light and loving ourselves through our very human reactions to that exposure.
In that chair six years ago, I learned something very important. I came to one of my first sessions and told a story about this woman I admired, someone from my theatre school past life, with whom I had recently brunched. I shared with my analyst about how entranced I was by my brunching companion, whose sensual and playful spirit somehow seemed to fill to bursting every voluptuous curve of her body. My own spirit felt like it resided in a carefully curated tiny house with a clipped lawn located behind my eyes, the rest of my body a rarely-visited greyish zone that faded away from where the action took place. Living downtown Toronto, my brain does the same thing when it thinks about the GTA.
I was invited to share specifically what I felt around this woman - I spent a good 15 minutes expanding on how her assets (which included an amazing singing voice, stellar acting chops and the ability to not only attract men, but compel them, with one glance their way) both inspired and dejected me. I let out a huff of frustration, brimming with a jealousy and spiteful martyrdom that surprised the part of me that identified strongly with being 'nice'. A surge of my own neglected femininity wormed its way up from my loins and tugged at my heart like some twisted version of The Little Match Girl. Let me in, it's cold out here.
My analyst let me finish.
She leaned in towards me and gave me The Look. You know the one. It's the look wise people have by default and they often wear it when offering 'barbs of truth'. These are words that stick into your soul in such a way that they are irreconcilable with the previous version of yourself from milliseconds ago. You can pull and deny and fuss with them ad nauseum, but you can never remove them from your cellular memory because this truth is not new, it is very, very, very old and you have simply forgotten it.
Here's what she said:
"My dear, have you considered that everything you see in another is what is unaccepted in yourself? The sensuality this woman embodies? You have it in you. This spite you feel because of your own denial? That spite is in you too. It is ALL yours - anything you envy and anything you judge. Now that you know that, you can do the work to uncover and embrace it all."
Her words sent a thrill up my spine and I felt like I had the secret key. Did I wake up the next day fully owning my inner Jessica Rabbit or Cruella de Vil? No. But I have not stopped thinking about her words since, and actively applying them in my life and both my sense of my own sexuality and my humility have been deeply impacted by them.
How do these words from long ago apply to our current journeys of self care while following our entrepreneurial dreams?
Answering the call of our hearts requires parts of us to show up that we've been quite content to keep hidden and we MUST meet these parts with love. The messy shameful ones who cling to past resentments AND the powerful, impactful, compelling ones that are queenly and brave enough to fight for our dreams and facilitate their creation.
My personal dream is to buy a 94 acre farm and create a coworking B&B/retreat haven for creativepreneurs and wellness workers. (What's yours?!)
This week I'm meeting with my financial fairy godmother, Shannon, again. This means visiting the Land of Numbers, a land I usually feel is a frozen tundra of shame, panic, and pride. Shannon compels numbers with her magical ways like my long-ago brunch companion compels interest from across a room. She relates to numbers, listens to them, works with them and puts them in their place when they are acting up. I know I have a choice to envy Shannon, or learn from her.
She is in my life, so therefore she is my teacher.
From her I know I can learn to embrace financial literacy and be an empowered leader who can speak to the financial side of my business without shame or apology.
It is fascinating to me how much one's financial and sexual sense of self can intertwine, as though the roots of each twist and wrap around one another and feed from the same Stream of Self Worth.
If you're reading this, you're with me on this journey. I am so grateful you're here for this particular part, and I would love to hear from you about your own struggles and adventures with embracing aspects of yourself that are new or uncomfortable or both. Send me an email and let's be less alone about it! I know the antidote to the hidden is to shine the light. It's to love, to be in community and that is everything I am about in my heart and in this endeavour. So, although I no longer travel via Poang, I'll strap myself in for this next ride, so very glad to have you by my side.
P.S. To continue with the book recommendations in the post-script from last week, I can HIGHLY recommend every book listed at the beginning of this post. Each is magical and transformative and helpful reading for the inner journey. My personal copies of these are worn, tear-stained, and well-loved.
P.P.S. There are only 3 spots left for our upcoming November retreat! If you're in need of a weekend of diving deep while being fed, body, mind & soul with like-minded creatives, you can learn more here.