It’s a gift when you run up against the stuff that challenges your sense of self in a deep, stirring way.
When you’re challenged, when you come up against rage, when you’re so triggered into fear that you feel paralyzed, when you’ve been deceived, mistreated, disrespected… it weighs on your soul. But, it’s when you have a chance to see what’s been holding you back.
In feng shui, all that negative, defensive, scattered energy is sha chi. It’s stagnant. It’s angry. It’s destructive.
It can drive you to want to be right way more than you want to be happy. It can make you want to run, hide or literally leave your body, checked out with drugs or alcohol.
It needs to be released.
If you’ve been in a battle with people you love, if you’re feeling turmoil that you can’t seem to control, if you’ve been wronged…if you feel so blocked and limited and yet you try so hard… you have a chance to make it all right within yourself.
You can’t control what anyone else thinks, feels or does… but you can make it right within yourself. And right for those you’ve wronged. And, you can make it right for your karma, your sense of cause over what you’re creating in life, the feeling that you are indeed the author of your universe.
If you want to be more free, the only way I know to make your soul less heavy is to see all that you’ve been carting around and finally own it and let it go.
People like to write idealized bliss tales about friendships, love, relationships and success.
If you read enough of them, you’ll see just how far you are from where you want to be living and you’ll suffer from a sort of disconnect… because what you’re reading is a fantasy.
I’m fairly sure that no souls meet and dance in rose petals of perfection. It’s one big fantasy that this total harmony is assured to the chosen ones. It’s not even helpful. While general harmony is the best thing in all relationships, there’s always something that comes up that you can ignore or you can confront. It’s the lack of harmony that’s the lesson. In fact, the greatest people are the ones that bring all your life’s clutter to the surface so you can let it be free. (That is… if you don’t implode before you have a chance to do it!)
Meeting obstacles is a part of becoming more and more extraordinary as a person. Not a single person glides through life on positive intentions and stardust, and not a single person lives without trauma, blindspots, anger, hurt and clutter of regrets and hurt and fear.
When I talk about decluttering life, I don’t think it ever has an end… nor do I want it to ever end. It’s a process to get closer to our core, to get closer to purity… to be able to confront the things that are so hard to see.
When you do decide to clear the space that’s been burdened and buried in your life, you can love bigger, you can help more, you can reach outside yourself and make more of a difference, you can create so much more than you ever thought possible.
That said: some people lean into the process and choose to grow when they meet an obstacle and some people check out, hide, blame, and layer on more clutter and junk until there’s a complete mess to deal with. Or just ignore it. And perpetuate it. Usually because there’s no way to make sense of it or even realize why it’s happening in all the chaos.
Have you been there?
Have you found yourself so frustrated, scared and hurt that you feel there’s nothing to do but run?
Have you found yourself in a job that tests your courage, in a realtionship that magnifies your greatest flaws, in a friendship that tests your fortitude…
Yesterday a man told me that his kids were so incredible and yet it scared him to see in them parts of himself that he didn’t like to see or acknowledge. His kids were his mirror.
If you love your job, your partner, your friends, your kids… that’s when your soul is on the line. You have your biggest mirror staring at you.
That’s actually when you have a chance to unburden your soul and see the things about you that you don’t want to see. It’s when you have a shot at really growing and changing. There’s no telling what anyone else will do, what they’ll say or anything … but if you want to grow, you can grow.
And I hope you do.
I can tell you, I’ve been so tested. I had no idea the trauma I burried so deep in my memory I sort of washed over it and blacked it out until someone I love dearly brought it all out in me. I had no idea I could feel such terror, such a lack of power, such a desperation… until it happened. It wasn’t done intentionally, but it was something I couldn’t understand, I couldn’t forgive and I couldn’t resolve… So I let it take me over because that’s what tends to happen when you’re overwhelmed and your nervous system is overloaded.
What’s worse was that every attempt to make it right made it more wrong because it was all chaos.
That’s what happens when you try to put order into anything that’s been out of control: complete chaos happens.
It’s my favorite closet story: Pull all the clothes out of your closet before you reorganize it and you might hit a boiling point of pure chaos. But… if you keep moving through the chaos, it settles into order again. Lots of us quit before we get to the order because we can’t wrap our heads around the chaos.
We all have irrational fears, heavy burdens we’ve lugged around for too long, losses and grief and wishes unfulfilled and feelings that we can’t full understand.
If you’re lucky enough to have life show you what you have been carrying around that makes your soul heavy, you’ll have a chance to make a big change.
If you look at your own patterns that repeat themselves, the things that hold you back and make you feel miserable, irrational or completely unsafe, stuck under a glass ceiling or just totally unworthy, you’ll likely find something happened way back in your past that’s cycling through your life on auto-repeat, unconsciously, deafeningly, and endlessly.
Essentially, other people (including and especially you) are paying the price for your unhandled life clutter.
Historically, I’ve never had an easy time expressing my feelings when they felt irrational but painful. Especially in relationships. I would freeze. I’d swallow things I needed to say. I’d blame people. I’d do anything but have to speak up. It was terrifying.
To know me, you’d think I was the last person who could srtuggle to express her feelings.
But, when I was 13, I went to live with my Dad under strained circumstances. I wasn’t doing well, I was failing out of school when I was once a star student, I felt extremely stressed and I didn’t grasp the fact that my father couldn’t really understand me because he was a total mess. One day, in actual physical pain from all the stress, I tried to tell my father how I felt, hoping that he’d see my pain and actually help me. He hauled back and smacked me onto the ground.
I froze. I’d never speak up again. I’d cry. I’d blame everyone and everything. But never again would it be easy to tell anyone how I felt.
Until… I was lucky enough to have someone react in a pretty rapid defensive rage at my irrational feelings when I tried to express them one day in my adult life.
I got to see that whole horrible, burried, crazy incident all over again. I got to blame, to spin out, to freeze and cry endlessly all over again. I started watching myself start to deteriorate, living out the story I swallowed as a little kid that I couldn’t understand. Then, I got to EMDR (it’s the BEST trauma therapy), to EFT (it’s amazing for releasing the energy of these negative incidents), I got to a journal to see and understand what I did in response to what was happening, I got to forgiveness and I started to recover so much of my life I lost in so many years of holding back my feelings.
Without the pain coming to life I’d never know how much it was holding me back.
If you’re in a loop of stuff that’s on repeat, patterns that won’t resolve no matter how much you try… Start with you and take the responsibility. You might not have deserved the pain you suffered, you might have been defenseless and treated with cruelty, but as adults we all have a choice to overcome whatever gets sent our way or we get to suffer for it endlessly.
It’s a choice.
Dare to dig into your own shit. See why and how it happened. Get help – all the help you need- to sort out what you can’t fix on your own. And keep clearing that space.
Stay away from people who want to blame others and encourage you to blame others and hold them in contempt. It will hold you back. You can’t blame and be responsible at the same time. You can’t be defensive and succeed at the same time. I read a brilliant article this morning about defensiveness and success by Dale Partridge and this line resonated so clearly: “Bottom line is this: Solving problems requires us to come out of our invulnerable state. When we want to move away we shouldn’t. When we want to push against, we can’t. And when we want to play the martyr, we’re just avoiding growth.”
You can’t let go of what you don’t own.
Everyone’s doing the best they can from where they’re at with what they have. Do your own best. Owning what’s yours to own is the most radical and powerful self love. Especially when you’re brave enough to own the stuff you experienced that was unfair, cruel and even soul-crushing. When you own it, it can’t hurt you endlessly. When you can face it, it will stop you from hurting other people. To stare it down gives you the power to forgive. It lets you see the way to the lesson. And it moves you so much higher than you ever thought you could go.
Love bigger. Live better. Start with you. Clear yourself of the stuff that makes your soul so heavy. It’s the surest path to every kind of success.
P.S.: If you want to really immerse yourself in the light of joy so much more, my favorite feng shui and cutting-edge energy-shifting tools are HERE for you in the Joy Immersion: 30 Day Negativity Detox!
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Spot on Dana. Nice to hear someone talk about EMDR. Despite my initial cynicism I found it super effective and surprisingly quickly too. I totally recommend it for processing traumatic stuff that keeps jumping up and biting you in the ass. Take care xx