For Shame

"I gave up shame a long time ago."  ~John Lithgow Howdy :)

Shame is a shameful thing.  It can keep you from moving forward, getting help and being happy.  Where there is shame there is darkness, struggle an ultimately stagnation.  There are many things we find to feel shame for, many things we choose to allow to bring us down for various reasons… many of which have been forced ideas from religion, parents, society.  We have shame around things we have said, done, what we don't have, do have, want or don't want.  The punishment that we endure for things that are fully, wholly human things, things we all do, will do, want to do… in some way or another, is amazing.

I remember growing up in projects on welfare and learning to feel shame for it.  I remember learning to feel shame around having a low credit score.  I remember being left by my ex and being told that I was a bad person because of my bad credit (that is the worst thing to say to someone who is shamed by their lack of financial power).  I remember being sick and tired of being ashamed of crap that is crap.  So I stopped.  I gave it up.  I am not an awful person because I grew up one way instead of another, or because I have had struggles financially, or because I have lied, or cheated or any other thing that I or anyone else has decided to throw out judgements against.

Life is short, confusing and filled with a myriad of experiences.  I am over feeling bad for having the opportunity to live it.  Every single thing in my life has gotten me to where I am right now and that is a most fantastic place.  Living your life and then regretting it is wasteful, in my opinion (yep, that is totally a judgement).  When we feel shame we allow that thing to have power over us.  I think the only thing that is shameful may just be shame itself.  Though, it is information;  it tells you the area you need to expose in yourself, love in others, and let go of ultimately.  Instead of shaming yourself, own yourself and your experiences.  Look at the choices you have made or, in some cases, the situations you have been placed in by birth, and get out of them all that they have to offer.  Our lives are our lessons.  When we refuse to look at them fully we refuse to learn.

If you are feeling shame around something, or many things, speak it out loud… maybe softly at first.  Hear it, see it, become roommates with it.  Say it over and over until it stops being shocking.  Google it, see that it isn't uncommon, see that you aren't alone.  At some point you will be able to yell it out loud.  You won't care who hears… you will let it go.



"As soon as you forbid something, you make it extraordinarily appealing.  You also bring shame in as a phenomenon."  ~Jock Sturges

What Do You Want To Do?

"Doing what you love is the cornerstone of having abundance in your life."  ~Wayne Dyer What do you love to do?  What is the thing that, when you are doing it, brings a smile to your face?  When do you feel the most fulfilled?  Is this the work that you are doing in the world?  Why not?  So many of us feel that the work that we do to make money cannot necessarily be the work that makes us the happiest.  Where did this notion come from?  Who said we wouldn't be able to make a living doing what we loved?  Why have we kept this story going so strong as to make it the 'truth' for so many?

I don't believe anyone wants to be living a life where they are waiting for happiness.  When we wait for something to happen we miss all of the good stuff that is happening right now.  When we put off doing what we love, we put off love and I am not sure how that is ever something we want to do.  What if you told yourself a different story.  What if you told yourself that you didn't have to be starving to be an artist.  What if you told yourself that there aren't too many yoga instructors, photographers, doulas.  What if you didn't worry about the market being saturated with something that you too wanted to produce?  What if you didn't judge what you want to do before you even said it out loud.  What if you believed that there was and always will be enough room for each of us to do what we love and be supported in doing it.  How would that change things?  Who are they who make us believe these things?  Why do we go along and support so many ideas that oppress us?  It is like an animal going into a cage and closing the door behind him. What is the point of being locked into an idea that doesn't feel yummy?

We are afraid to leave the comfortable place of knowing what we are supposed to do.  What we are capable of has been decided by generations before us so we don't have to do the work to make it up as we go along.  When you take away the road map to the perfectly normal and expected life you take away your supposed safety net.  The funny thing is, though you may be living this normal life of obligation and responsibility there is nothing perfect about it.  You may struggle with motivating to do the work you have given up you joy to do.  You may live for the things that job can buy you, but still feel a bit empty.  You may be holding onto the idea that there will be a big pay-off in the end.  Yep, there will be and it might be death.  Just sayin'.  I don't mind breaking it to you, nothing is promised and no one is getting out of this whole life thing alive. Why would you ever think it was ok to live a life that isn't full of life?

The risk associated with doing what you love pales in comparison to the joy you get from doing what you love.  I understand that you may not want to walk into your job tomorrow and throw down you two-week resignation… but, if you know what you really want to do or have any idea what that is, then you are obligated to yourself to go toward that which is most healing and loving.  When you love yourself and share that with the world, the world is filled with that love.  Just as it is filled with the pain of so many people doing what they loathe.  Think about it.

"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life.  Don't be trapped by dogma--which is living with the results of other people's thinking.  Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice.  And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.  They somehow already know what you truly want to become.  Everything else is secondary."  ~Steve Jobs



"You should exercise unrelenting discipline over your thought patterns.  Cultivate only productive attitudes… You are the product of everything you put into your body and mind."

~I Ching no. 27