Honesty is one of the main principles of the in the recovery process. There is so much to learn, to uncover, to call out and to reframe as we navigate life in all ages and stages. In my experience, there is a link between illness and dishonesty. This is not to say that illness is caused by dishonesty; I do believe that recovery is halted by it though. When we are living in dishonesty, whether consciously or unconsciously, vital energy that could be used for healing and thriving are detained with keeping the lies alive. Lies require so much energy and attention. They come with the territory of being human, right, but at what price?
Lying is exhausting.
The ways lies zap my life force became even more clear at a recent power-packed, energizing and revealing Mama Love retreat in the beauty of Sonoma County hosted by Empowerment Coach, Sacha Sterling. Led through an exercise practiced and taught by Crystal Andrus, Sacha led me and a number of other women into the energetic realm of truth versus lies in a simple and profound way.
Before introducing our real selves to the other women in this intimate gathering, we were asked to spend one minute lying. We could say anything we wanted, as long as it wasn’t true. The timer began and I drew a blank. What was I supposed to say? The energy required to come up with lies was surprising. I thought lying was easy! Testimonies of meeting alien life, claiming a cowboy lifestyle as my own, and being a mother of eight entered my mind fell from my lips. I fumbled on my words, feeling ridiculous as I spoke. Soon enough the sixty seconds were over. I was relieved and astonished at how I felt after telling lies for just one minute. My energy was undeniably lowered.
Then came the real introduction. For the same amount of time, I was to share about myself, truths only. The timer began again. My mouth opened and words danced out without thought. I knew the truth and it was easy to speak. It even felt good. Actually, it felt better than good. I felt right on time, vibrant and confident. As the time of speaking my truth came to a close, I felt an inner balance. I even noticed that the lethargy that had set in from the fibbing had been replaced and then some. I was humming, realigned with a natural flow. Truth has a way of doing that.
Lies zap energy. They require me to keep track of what I say, who I say it to, and when. If lies are so much work, why do I use them? I like to think of myself as an honest person. In most ways, I am. Honesty is a value I hold close, and yet, I fib often. Mostly, the lies I tell are to myself.
“Nothing good can come from this.”
“I could have prevented this from happening.”
“If I let go, I will lose out.”
“I should know how to handle this.”
“I don’t have time for self care.”
Can you relate to any of this?
Simple thoughts can reveal deeply rooted untruths.
Where are you feeling wiped out, tired, or lethargic in your life right now? Where is exhaustion showing up?
More than likely, there’s dishonesty tucked in there somewhere.
The good news is that awareness is a step in the direction of recovery and getting re-energized.
Getting honest, befriending the lies, the little ones and the whoppers both, and reframing your truth brings energy back into balance.
Invitation: Get out your personal journal or a lined piece of paper. On each line, complete the sentence “The truth is_______.” Do this as many times as you can until the pen stops. Once you feel complete for now, read the statements aloud and notice the sensations in your physical and emotional body. Maybe you have a coach, close friend or confidante to share this process with.
Acknowledging the truth in the moment doesn’t mean you have to do anything with it or about it. Simply seeing it transforms what is. Secrets and lies are exhausting and ultimately lead to lowered self esteem and shame. The truth sets us free. I like the sound of freedom, don’t you? So let’s name the truth and realign with who we really are: fabulous, powerful, and perfectly human! Recovery is about recovering parts of our true selves. Speaking the truth, even if our voice shakes, is what empowerment and healing are all about.
Here’s to rekindling the energy of the real you.
This article is featured in Simply...Woman! Online Magazine
Part of life, in or out of recovery, is being in the unknown. While moments of sublime clarity, those glorious “AHAs” happen, confusion and absolutely not having clear answers happens, too. Right? I don’t know about you, but I like to have confident clarity, to know the next step to take in any given situation. Clear direction brings with it a sense of security, of control, of well-being. I like all of these. When the road ahead is unclear, when I just don’t know what to do next, I often feel scared. Fear leads to more of the same. Thoughts grab on and panic sets in. No fun. I have gathered quite a collection in my tool box of techniques from time spent in the unknown. Many lessons have come from not knowing what to do, from being in the grasp of fear and from getting through it. Even when I feel afraid, when the confusion of how to move ahead is intense and overwhelming, I have found that it is possible to get centered and relax whether answers come right away or not! When I am unsure of how to “get it right” or “fix the problem” I am facing (whether real or imagined), here are a few of tools I use that might assist you, too.
· Breathe! Breath is one of life’s constants, always available to steer the tone of our day, perspective and experience. How often this tool is taken for granted, until something gets in its way! When I get anxious, my breath gets shallow and short if I don’t pay attention to it. Slowing down and taking deep, conscious breaths is a quick solution to feeling fear and anxiety. Notice how it feels to physically pause and breathe in and out through your nose. Your body gets the message that it is safe to relax when the breath comes in and out of the nose cavity rather than through the mouth. Fun fact, right? Go ahead, try it. Get present and breathe, you have more control than you might think.
· Say a little prayer. Asking for help frees us from the responsibility to know it all. It also paves the way for support to show up. No experience is necessary to pray with success. The invitation for assistance can be as simple as “Life, please help me. I am open to guidance and could really use some!” In fact, keeping it simple is often exactly what is needed for clarity to come. If you aren’t a fan of the concept of prayer, or God talk in general, reading a prayer or poem someone else has written works, too. Life has a way of taking care of the details. Prayer is an act of recognizing that there is something bigger than we are and the ultimate control to make things happen is not solely ours. Marianne Williamson says it well:
“Within the Mind of God, there is a blueprint for the perfect unfoldment of all things. All that is good becomes great and all that is dark becomes light. Divine Mind exists within us, it is not outside of us. We pray and meditate in order to align our personal minds with the Mind of God; we thus become conduits for the energy that when extended onto the earth, lifts all things to divine right order.”
Why not try it out? Go ahead, say a little prayer, open up and let some light in.
· Move your body. A racing mind and a stagnant body is not a good combination. When I catch myself on that mental hamster wheel, my focus has zeroed in on the mind, To shift this energy and regain some balance, I get my body moving and - voila - the rampant thoughts tend to calm down. It might take five minute, it might take forty five minutes but the wheel does slow eventually. Whether you are taking the dog for a neighborhood walk, hula hooping in your living room (one of my favorites), or joining a group class at a local gym, shifting from the mental environment to that of the physical is powerful stuff. Tension relief comes when the body moves. Goodbye tension, hello relaxation. In a relaxed state, we are able to align with life from a more desirable place.
· Check in with the basics. The acronym, HALT, is a staple in many recovery communities. It is a reminder to ask: are you hungry, angry, lonely or tired? Taking care of our foundational needs is important and so easy to gloss over in times of stress. Don’t know what to do next? Get plugged in with your needs and tend to them as they are recognized. Hungry? Grab a snack and some water. Angry? Journal your frustrations to get the pent up energy out. Lonely? Call someone from your clan, make a call to share appreciation for a friend, or strike up a conversation with a passerby in the store. We are all connected, sometimes we just forget. Tired? If you can, sit down for a few minutes and let your body and mind unwind. If you can’t take a snooze or even sit down at the moment, use that handy breath work to get centered where you are now.
· Imagine the possibilities. What if there was no confusion, problem, or issue? Seriously, what would you feel or do if the quandary simply didn’t exist? Step into the landscape of what you desire, problem-free. Using the power of thought can bring the peace, ease, harmony, solution, relaxation, and anything else you want to feel into this moment right now. The mind doesn’t know the difference between physical reality and imagination. Act as if everything if taken care of and see how it feels. Practice living in the feeling of the solution that is coming, because resolution is coming.
Even when the perfect next step to take isn’t clear, there are plenty of ways that you can move forward. Using the tools you do have in the moment will create space for more clarity to come in. When all else fails, just breathe and remember that this too shall pass.
Embracing the unknown and getting in the Flow,
This article is featured in Simple...Woman Online Magazine
I can teach anybody how to get what they want out of life. The problem is that I can't find anybody who can tell me what they want.
Dare I say I disagree with Mr. Twain?! I think the clear thinkers, believers, self aware people who know what they want are not extinct, the path to clarity is just covered in brush (for the time being). There are many ways to get what you want out of life. I begin by asking and answering the right questions. When asked and answered with honesty, I have gotten clear about what I actually want time and time again.
Then, questions answered, I have gone a step further... creating that which I want! So much of the path in getting clear and creating what I desire is about receiving. Firstly, receiving the answers to questions with an open mind. Secondly, taking the opportunities that present themselves to get where I want to go. The process is simple and works every time I use it. It might not always be easy, yet it remains exciting when I let it be.
What about you? What do you want?
What would you do, be, say, think, embody if no one was going to judge you or applaud you?
What motivates you from the inside out?
Imagine that you can do this, be this, embody this safely and joyfully (and everyone else is taken care of, too).
How does it feel to live in the reality of this vision: Are you beaming and energized or relaxed in slower movement from day to day? Where do you spend most of your time? Are you surrounded by people or animals or spending more time in solitude? Details, please!
Invitation: explore these questions with yourself in your journal or visual art process, or find a friend who will engage this adventurous visioning with you! If nobody comes to mind immediately and you’d like to have the conversation aloud, I am here to connect with you.
Ask the right questions and get to living the juicy existence you are here to enjoy. Wherever you are is the perfect place to start. Let’s have this potent, powerful, empowering, engaging conversation and get to living in the vision that ignites, shall we?
In the flow,
As an advocate of Reinvention + Recovery, I work with clients to achieve balance, alignment and purpose in all areas