living awkwardly

Deficiency motivation doesn't work. It will lead to a life-long pursuit of try to fix “me”. Learn to appreciate what you have & where and who you are.” ~ Wayne Dyer

Had coffee with a good friend this morning. We talk about such interesting things. Like sustainabililty. We discuss what that means when we make our personal choices, and when we manage our business lives. We talk about emancipation as it relates to our inner voice and our inner vision. About recognizing our programming and striving to grow beyond it. We talk about ideas that will connect us to other people, about being authentic and human as we reach out to share our experience with others… hoping that they might find some value in the story of our life to this point. That’s a big conversation for an early Saturday morning when you haven’t had a lot of sleep because you were up late working on a creative project that lights your fire. I’m surprised I can remember it, lol.

I think my journey of growth started years ago when I read a series of books by Dr. Wayne Dyer, in particular, “The Errogenous Zone” and “The Sky’s the Limit”. Dyer helped me grow the first little bit of awareness about my own programming. How I got into modes of communication with my parents and family and people at work… how my responses were habits based on the ways I thought about myself and how I related to the world. He made me think about the idea that, if I changed my response to something… perhaps the other person might change their behavior too – because we were both locked into our communicative rut. And he phrased it well, too.

You were to remove judgement and emotion from your response, and just say your truth with dignity. You were to forgive yourself if a situation happened and you responded in the usual way. You’d take note, and perhaps the next time you’d be able to recognize an old behavior pattern before you went too far down that road.

Thinking back, I can see that much of my way of relating to the world was based on fear, self-protection, anger… and the sense that I was being always judged, found wanting, not good enough. I always, always, tried to read beneath the lines of what people said and did, and how they looked when they said and did it. By assessing all these signals I would make assumptions… and those assumptions were always filtered through my extreme self-consciousness and egocentric thinking.

I hated going into the coffee room at work on Monday’s. I knew someone would ask ‘how was your weekend.’ It always felt like any sort of question about my life was an intrusion of some kind. I couldn’t have a conversation in the coffee room without literally stammering an embarrassed reply no matter what the subject. At the moment attention was on me and I was expected to respond with a casual chit-catty reply, everything in me tensed up. My breath would stop. I’d raise my shoulders, stretch my neck, lift my chin up as my eyes went up & to the side, my eyelids fluttered, my tongue stuck to the roof of my mouth, and I hated myself in that moment for feeling so awkward and stupid. In an odd way, it was like having a seizure.

Such a small thing, asking someone ‘how are you?’ It’s not like they were asking me to end world hunger, or to give a talk on brain surgery. If I couldn’t answer the question ‘how was your weekend’ without falling apart, how could I have the skills to be a supervisor at work, or be an actor on the stage? If I thought so little of myself, focused on my flaws, thought that I was boring and stupid, how could I ever believe I was someone worthy of marriage, or someone capable of being a good mother?

When I think of the easy way I chat to people now, it still absolutely astounds me that I found a path, a way, an awakening… that slowly, over time, allowed me to become who I am today. I’m writing this blog to share that journey with you… I hope that some of what I say resonates with my readers and helps them feel inspired to keep working on themselves, and their art (because creativity IS the path out), and stay the course.

I felt so alone in those days. Surrounded by people, but lost in space. Not any more. I am grateful we have this technology that allows us to reach out and share with each other. I am thankful that -- most of the time -- I don’t stammer any more.

1 comment:

Phil Bennett said...

Bless you on your path!

Wayne Dyer changed my life as well. I guess it was me that did the work, but his books and talks made me examine things and start living an enlightened life.

I am thankful and happy. That's all that matters.

Peace and joy to you,

Phil