What boxes are you putting yourself in?
I listened to a Deepak Chopra meditation this morning on stepping into your power. I have been in a grieving process lately and my whole body has felt constricted. I have felt very small. I have felt as if I am stuck in other people’s opinions and in this place of just waiting. It has resulted in some of my upper stomach pain returning and being extremely irritable.
This meditation was exactly what I needed and it helped spark so much deeper awareness than simply moving through what is being presented in front of me right now. Because that’s the thing. What we are going through now, what irritates or triggers us in the present is always a reaction to something deeper within us. The same “struggles” will continue to present themselves until we are aware of the undercurrent beneath them.
In this meditation, Deepak speaks about these labels that we put on ourselves and the idea of being in an “either-or” box. “Ding. Ding. Ding.” Lights started going on for me.
I have spoken often about how I never felt like I fit in. Like I was this chameleon who blended myself well into every situation. I always struggled, and still do struggle, when people ask me to describe myself. Huh? Describe myself? In this moment, I am very different than how I was just a few months ago, so how can I describe myself? This question always has me stop and feel like I don’t know myself well enough. You know those stupid BuzzFeed quizzes where you have to pick which one you like better, “the city, nature, the beach or the mountains”. Well, fuck, I love each of those places equally. I feel most connected to myself when I am in nature, whether it be in the mountains or on a beach. I also thrive off of going to the theatre or a concert and relish in finding backstreets of busy cities. I was always caught between the super hippie part of me and the part of me that loves wearing fancy heels and loves a beautiful purse and to get dressed up for a nice dinner. I equally love backpacking through Asia or relaxing on the Amalfi coast. Like I want to save the planet and am a major animal activist but also have a thirst for material success. Then, I would pick one. I would go so full out in one of these areas while denying this other part of myself. Every time I did that, I would end up far down the wrong path and find myself lost again.
Then, I have such conflicting personality traits on a day to day basis! I feel like I am aggressive but also passive. Some days I feel like I am beautiful and some days that I am ugly. Sometimes fat, sometimes skinny. Sometimes, I am kind and sweet and sometimes I am a raging bitch. We are told we are stupid or smart. Tall or short. Fat or skinny. A success or a failure. A winner or a loser. But, here’s the thing. Why are we trying to define ourselves by these boxes? We are SO much more than ticking one of these, and we all live in areas of grey. Some of us have major areas of alignment in some areas, but some of us actually feel comfortable in many different situations.
Further, we can define ourselves solely by our experiences, positive or negative. I might be so attached to the label of my trauma story, that I am not allowing myself to move on. We can label ourselves victims, or survivors, or or sober or addicted – whatever the label may be. We can become so attached to that label that it doesn’t let us move forward and trust that is part of our story, but isn’t the entire story. We cannot define ourselves by one thing. These core beliefs keep us stuck in old ways of thinking and limit our potential for growth, change or transformation. They hinder us from getting to know ourselves, without the labels.
Maybe this is why we don’t really have hobbies anymore. Why we don’t try new things. Why we end up down a career path that is so misaligned from who we really are and what we are truly passionate about. Because we are so stuck in being in our boxes and labels and not excelling in each and every area that we pursue that we get stuck on this path.
We get so overwhelmed by being a failure that we never even start something. We look at something as too big an obstacle, or we have a little failure along the way and instead of learning from it, we give up. Because, if we aren’t perfect, we are a failure. If everyone gave up every time they had a door shut, nothing would EVER be accomplished.
The missing link
Finding my authenticity has been the missing link for me. When I am true to me, I can embrace who I am in that moment. I can wear nice heels and go to the ballet or I can wear a t-shirt and flip-flops and lie in the park and write. I don’t have to define myself by one or the other. When I am in alignment with my authentic self, all of the other stuff doesn’t matter. I can express myself in each and every moment the way that feels best for me. And, as a result, I can be in any situation that feels like it is serving me or that I am of use in. I don’t put myself in situations that aren’t healthy for me in that moment. I can stay out late and go dancing, or I can go home early and get a good night sleep. I can indulge in some ice cream or I can make a healthy salad for myself. Life doesn’t have to be all-or-nothing.
And that is where the magic happens. That is when I can step into my power. That is when I can authentically present myself to the world and not be defined by the boxes placed on me. That is when I can remove myself as a victim of my circumstances. That is when I can believe in myself and not rely on the validation of others to know that I am worthy.
Get curious about the beliefs that you are holding onto about yourself and the labels you are relying on to define you. They don’t define you.
What boxes have you placed yourself in? Maybe you know yourself only as a perfectionist, or as an extrovert. Maybe, you don’t believe you’re smart enough to go for that other job, or you couldn’t take up piano because you would be no good at it?
Listen to my meditation series day 4 and 5 to really go into these beliefs and release what is holding you back!
Would love to hear how this experience goes for you.