shadow work: healing my inner child

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I was sitting in the corner balled up, just watching. I can’t remember if I was frozen in my tracks or if I was an emotional wreck. I must’ve been about 5 years old and I just felt like my whole world was falling apart. I don’t know the specific reason for them fighting this time around, all I could focus on was that my dad was leaving and I was petrified.

“Everything is going to be ok. You are safe. I will never abandon you. I love you.” Fast forward to 23 years later- and it wasn’t until now that I realized the reason my immense fear of being alone had taunted me, like a ghost, for so long. I was in the middle of meditating when once again I was feeling uneasy, like something was wrong in my life. No matter how many times I tried to focus in on the feeling and asked my inner guidance for the answers I never was able to figure it out. I knew it wasn’t that I was with the wrong person, or that something else was going on in my career. I was sure of my path and the person I was becoming and whom I chose to have in my life, but no matter what I did or tried, I couldn’t shake the fear I felt in my chest or the way it seemed to grow, turning into an ache in my back. It made me question and even doubt many of my decisions.

On this particular day I just asked for the universe to send me the answers I needed, trusting and having faith that it would come. I allowed myself to observe my uneasy emotions without trying to make it go away, I honored them. The following day I awoke from a much-needed nap and the first thought I had, seeping through the grogginess of waking up and not knowing what happened, was that I needed to heal my inner child and something about me in the experience I described above. So, without much thought I searched on Youtube “healing inner child so I can heal my relationship.” The video that I was drawn to was one about healing the inner child’s fear of abandonment. Something clicked.

I watched the video and did as instructed. It took me to this specific memory of me as a child where I truly believed that I was unloved and was going to be abandoned. Then it had me come back as an adult and notice all the ways that I was abandoning myself now, and how I was putting the expectations and responsibility of loving myself and always being there for me in the hands of other people. The meditation proved to be powerful for me as well as extremely difficult, and it initially left me in my feelings and with a heaviness in my chest. It was like when I first took a Yin Yoga class and I went so deep in a pose that I felt a popping sensation in my chest and an immense need to burst into tears-which I somehow refrained from doing.

On my commute to work today I listened to more videos about healing and how our inner child’s wounds effect our current relationships. As I was in the classroom, I was putting a child to sleep and I imagined she was a younger me, and I just repeated in my head that I would never abandon her as I helped her fall asleep. I knew I had the epiphany I needed to help me heal the root of the problem and I am determined to do the work. I left that child overcome with compassion and sense of inner peace I had only felt in the past when I would heal something traumatic.

I know the work has just begun, but I am extremely grateful to have discovered this wound and I am ready to heal it. I’ve spent a lot of time always fearing being left, looking for holes in my relationship and trying to prove why someone didn’t love me. I didn’t know it then, but I was using these defense mechanisms to try to avoid the pain of being abandoned- if I left first or if I was prepared for a break up then perhaps it wouldn’t hurt as bad. Of course, this only proved to bring me more experiences and people who ended up leaving me, and it made sense. How could I expect someone to be committed if I wasn’t even devoted to loving myself?

I know that this shadow work is going to lead me to freedom, and the ability to finally treating myself and being treated by others from a place of unconditional love. I know that its ok to be happy, that I am safe with myself, and that I don’t need to spend my time trying to prove my relationships of being too good to be true. Life will always have its ups and downs but never again will I abandon myself.

 

Love always,

Mabes

 

avoiding burnout

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Burnout, also known as long term exhaustion, is a result of chronic stress and has been shown to be affected by many factors. Stress is inevitable but our reaction to is completely in our control. Read below for some ways to help diminish your chances of crashing and burning.

Know your stress triggers.

Make a list of everything that comes to mind that you know of that triggers your stress- it can be things such as being overbooked at work, miscommunication, skipping meals, or neglecting yourself. It is very important to know what grinds your gears and stresses you out so that you can begin to take control of everything that is in your power and learn to work with or release things that are not. Being aware will help you to plan ahead when you see something coming versus getting sucker punched by something you never realized was rushing at you full force.

Know when to relax.

For women, we have 4 cycles throughout the month; “autumn,” “winter,” “spring,” and “summer” apply to us. The end of autumn occurs after the harvest, where we are beginning to slow down. We are in our “PMS” state and getting ready to transition into “winter” or our menstrual cycle. Afterwards, the “spring” is the end of our menstrual cycle, and we are slowly coming out of hibernation- these seasons are best spent slowing down, embracing solitude, and exerting less of our energy. “Summer” is when we feel most creative, passionate, energized, and social. I make sure to schedule most of my business during this time and slow down accordingly thereafter.

Practice daily self-care.

Remember that we can only show up in this world to the extent that we show up for ourselves. Giving until we are completely depleted and not giving to ourselves is a complete disservice to everyone, especially everyone in our life. This is why it is important to cultivate a list of self-care practices that we can do on a daily basis- and be adamant about them when we are stressed. Some of the practices that I incorporate into my daily routine include chanting, meditation and time in nature. Other times it can be journaling, vedging out on rom coms, treating myself to a solo date, or pampering myself at home. Be sure to take time to make your list so that you are always armed with your bag of tricks when cortisol levels spike.

Tap into your feminine energy.

All humans have masculine and feminine energy. The masculine helps you to be a go getter, a boss, a leader, a provider etc. while the feminine is about flow, being not doing, and getting in tune with your sensual and nurturing side. It is extremely vital to transition out of your masculine energy that you may tap into while at work- and transition into your feminine state when you leave the work place, especially if your innate nature is feminine and you have a partner at home who has a dominant masculine energy. The two of you will always butt heads- and can even deteriorate your relationship- when you are both inhabiting the same masculine energy. Allow your self to feel intuitive, to receive, and be flexible once you get home. Slip into something sexy, get creative and give yourself permission to wind down.

Work hard but play harder.

I recently listened to a podcast episode about how it is proven that you can release stress and anxiety through play. Charlie Hoehn, author of Play It Away and Play for a Living, talks about how he was on the verge of burnout, depression, and anxiety for a long time despite having “made it” in the career world. He tried everything and was always prescribed medications to “get better” but nothing worked until he started to incorporate play into his life and everything transformed from there. This episode inspired me to create a jar of “play date ideas for couples” and it contains playful dates such as creating a fort in our living room, star gazing, night time tag and playing racket ball. I am truly blessed to have a partner who is as playful as I am, and it is definitely one of the secrets to keeping a relationship feeling young and fresh in my opinion. Another option I learned from this episode is to list all of the things you used to love spending your time doing as a child; it could be nature, playing games with friends, or alone time creating art or building something. Then, try to slowly incorporate these ideas back into your life as an adult and watch your stress melt away!

Release pent up energy.

Sometimes when our cortisol spikes and stressors overwhelm us it can quickly turn us into a red eyed raging monster full of anger and easily irritable. It’s important to have an exercise routine- and making at least one of those options something high intensity to release aggressive energy. You can do sprints, hit a tennis ball with all your might into a wall, learn martial arts, dance to heal the lower chakras, and even have sex. All of these can help you to let go of anger and dissolve stress so that it doesn’t begin to blind you and melt into the other areas of your life.

Have a supportive network.

Relationships in my opinion are the most important facet to our lives as human beings. We thrive on connection and community- and it is imperative to learn how to positively communicate with one another in order to make relationships work. Whether it is our mother, our partner or our best friends- having support can make a tremendous difference in our stress levels. Sometimes we just need a listening ear or a shoulder to cry on, other times we need to hear ourselves vent and say everything out loud before we can (with the help of a loved one) put a situation into perspective or make a decision. Other times we just need some love and affection or a night out with friends to help us get out of our heads. Regardless of what the situation calls for, make sure that you are always working to establish good relationships where you can depend on each other for support when the time comes and be sure to thank them when it does.

Thank you for reading! Let's all take care of ourselves so that we can show up in this world as the greatest versions of ourselves. Be sure to leave your specific tips below.

 

Love always,

Mabes