Who Decides?

Last weekend I had the pleasure of co-facilitating a workshop with a wonderful group of women. The workshop was called Reconnect With Your True Nature.

The purpose of the workshop was to illuminate the path back to authentic empowerment by remembering who we really are.

During the workshop we spoke about the tremendous unlearning that needed to occur to reconnect with our true nature. To remember and honour who we really are, at our essence.

I asked the group : If you could travel back in time and ask your 5-year-old self these questions, what would she say?

Can you dance?

Can you draw?

Can you paint?

Can you sing?

We all knew that our five-year-old selves would answer, without hesitation Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!.

However today, our answers were almost unanimously Oh gosh – No! No! No! No!

So… what happened?

Our answers changed from yes to no when we absorbed the belief that it was not up to us to decide.

Our answers changed after the ‘grown-ups’ explained that actually, there were certain standards (set by other people) that we needed to meet in order to be ‘good enough’.

We absorbed this lie – and we stopped believing in ourselves.

Over time, we began to automatically apply external criteria to determine whether or not we were a ‘good’ student, a ‘good’ friend, a ‘good’ employee, a ‘good’ partner, a ‘good’ parent, a ‘good’ person.

Dr Shefali Tsabary expresses this idea powerfully in her book Radical Awakening when she says “Our conditioning is as deep and pervasive as the ocean is to fish”.

Dr Shefali explains that the lies we come to internalise as beliefs “seeped into the minds of our parents, as they did with their parents before them. Never having had the chance to wake up, our parents unwittingly believed these lies and raised us to believe them as well. We imbibed these voices as our own. Now these voices are our voices. We cannot tell them apart from ourselves.”

During the workshop we shared our stories of being conditioned by the voices around us to believe that we need to constantly improve, mould and “fix” ourselves in order to be worthy – in order to be enough.

We spoke about how the voices around us had convinced us that our ‘success’ was dependent on comparing ourselves to external standards and the expectations of others. And how, over time we had internalised these standards and our oppression had become an ‘inside job’. We were our own harshest critics. We were the primary perpetrators of our own disempowerment.

We discovered that despite cultural differences, we were united but a longing to restore faith in our ourselves. To cultivate the courage to simply be ourselves. To believe that we had nothing to prove to anyone. To liberate ourselves from the heavy burden of relentless comparing, perfecting, pleasing, unhealthy striving, proving and improving. To remember our enough-ness. To give ourselves permission to embody a more vibrant expression of who we really were. To unfurl.

Through the practice of self-fidelity we learn how to ‘wake up’ and remember that none of the voices in our heads reflect the truth of who we really are. We rediscover a way of being that transcends all these voices. We learn how to reconnect to our most positively powerful ways of being – our essence.

We reclaim the power to decide who and what we are.

Self-Fidelity Practice To Play With

This week I invite you to reflect on your earliest happiest memory. How would you describe how you felt? Perhaps you felt free, alive, joyful, playful, happy, loved, deeply content or safe.

Now, consider the last time you felt this way.

Finally, reflect on what is getting in the way of you experiencing these feelings more often.

What do you need to let go of?

What you are here to reclaim, you had it once. You were that child who was complete, whole, significant, purposeful, connected, present. You were that child. Much of what we have been conditioned to believe in is false. The quest for our essence begins in this discovery. To awaken means we stop playing to the tune of the outer world and instead start expressing ourselves according to our inner world. Dr Shefali Tsabary

I create Hello Monday Morning to give generously and give often to a growing global community of self-fidelity pioneers. My weekly posts share small yet mighty self-fidelity practices to uplift working life. Subscribe here and get the first two chapters of my book Self-Fidelity for free.

If you would like to work with me co-create a workshop to support your employees to experience authentic empowerment, please reach out.

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