New Thresholds - "You are the lock, and the key".
For many of us, change is often scary, as it requires us to let go of what is known and familiar and step into the void of the unknown. Our brain's fear is often in conflict with our heart’s knowing and our soul’s calling, so much so, that the suffering of not taking a step forward, becomes greater than the turmoil of our doubting mind.
And yet ... We know that nothing stands still. We understand that life is perpetually shifting, unfolding, transitioning and expanding. And we inherently understand that we too, are part of that intrinsic evolutionary dance.
Past hurts, traumas, tethering ourselves to a specific place, a certain role, association or ideal, become limiting beliefs that can keep us clinging to a former place in time, or a certain way of being (“This is just who I am”). Emotional patterns can become quick-sand that keeps us stuck in a specific groove, impinging on our ability to merge and flow with the natural rhythm of life and a world that is always in motion.
The first stage of any transformation is awareness. We can only change what we know. Creating room in your life for self-reflection, meditation, therapy, journaling, etc. is the foundation of self-exploration, and accessing the inner lantern of awareness that yield our own epiphanies, wisdom, insights, guidance and truth. I like to call this process lock and key. The lock is my unconscious, what is buried, repressed, denied etc. And my desire to transform that into light, to bring it into the conscious, to help me grow and transform, is my key. I am my own key. As are you.
With practice, we begin to notice and track the places where we get caught and stuck emotionally; the habits, routines and patterns influenced and shaped from our past conditioning. Recognizing that we are all a product of our conditioning is the key to unlocking ourselves from our conditioning.
Without judging any of it, we come to observe and understand that where we are is not really the deeper truth of who we are. We realize that we are no longer this former version of ourselves and that we can’t move forward without first releasing the grip of what was.
This ushers in the second stage of transformation - personal choice. The brilliance of Maya Angelou reminds us that “When we know better, we can do better”. With newfound awareness we can ask ourselves what we’d like to experience instead. How do we want to feel? How can we support ourselves? Can we give ourselves patience, compassion, forgiveness, healing, assistance, joy, rest, some slack? What decisions or actions must we take in order to move in a different direction? From one of reaction and suffering, to a place of responding and alignment. Even if no-one has ever shown us how, we can still learn to hold our own heart and be our own best loving ally. Our choice is our personal power. When we choose LOVE, it becomes our Super Power.
When we awaken to something new about ourselves that resonates as truth, we often feel an inner nudge or call to make a change. Often times, this new aspect of ourselves has already shifted. The former version has already been outgrown. Simply acknowledging the discarding is sometimes all that’s required for us to let it go and open the door to a new way of being.
(Side note ... this personal practice is intended to support your desire to shift a habit or conditioned pattern. Some of my patterns have shifted in a single flash of brilliant illumination, whilst others are work in progress. This is not a practice I use for processing triggers that are rooted in trauma, although the principles are extremely helpful to me. I'm an advocate for self-empowerment, self-healing and self-loving, but also a champion for professional support and/or creating a supportive healing team).
Notice where you react negatively to a certain person, or situation and stop. Ask yourself if this inner critic, upset, judgement, rejection, belief, anxiety or fear is a reflection of the past continuing to inform your present?
With loving kindness, gently remind yourself that you’re no longer this. This old reaction is claiming what is here now and even though it “feels” familiar, in reality, it is not the same experience, person, or situation. You are not the same “you”.
Stay in a place of neutrality (you may like to place your hand on your heart, to come home to yourself) to help diffuse the emotions and allow for a deeper sense of your true Self to shine through. The Sacred aspect of you that is all knowing, supporting and loving. In this way we learn to tend to ourselves.
When we reconnect with the very essence of our being, we release the past and reclaim our present. We realize that life is not “happening to us”, but that we are the authors of our life’s stories. At any moment we can decide what we’d like to experience instead. How we’d like to respond. And then edit, delete or re-write accordingly.
With newfound awareness we are able to respond to ourselves, others, situations and life with new eyes, fresh perspective, and choices that are founded from our healing, our wisdom our illuminated awareness and our expansion.
You are the key to unlocking your Self.
You are the one you’ve been waiting for.