This year, a series of intense planetary line-ups strongly suggests that 2020 will be a year of “make-or-break/sink-or-swim” turning points in our lives. If we do it right, there is great potential to achieve a place of harmony, balance and protected path this year.
With this said, there is one common factor among us that can block the path of our potential in 2020 if we are not vigilant in our efforts. It rules us through fear and compels us to revert to old, destructive patterning. It is a common mental dis-ease that when left unchecked, unobserved and unacknowledged can make an alien of us within our own families, our own lives and our own Self. I call it the Innovative Isolator or the Master Separator but it is most referred to as ...
No matter your achievements, your success or day to day perseverance, shame is an evil whisperer reminding you that you (and only you) don’t measure up. What’s worse is that when we try to talk of our shame, our feelings only deepen into its vicious cycle. That’s because shame is a pity party to keep us prone! It is literally nothing but an ego trip.
So what is Shame, exactly?
Shame is the core belief that something is fundamentally wrong with us, that we are somehow broken, or unfit; that we don’t belong. Most importantly, shame comes from within! No one can shame us but ourselves. No one! No matter how hard someone may try!
Shame is the ego's demand for the status quo and to achieve this the ego will dial up predictable patterns of our childhood scripting that trick us into feeling safe, secure and less vulnerable. In fact, shame is very similar to the fight or flight response which puts us in “survival mode”, and prepares us to escape from threats.
Like a gazelle escaping the lion, our response to shame through this scripting is so ingrained and instinctual there is very little or no thought behind it. This is why shame can be a silent killer of potential. Etched deep into our subconscious, our childhood scripting makes it nearly impossible to be aware of our reactions and, most importantly, how to change them. We are simply reacting to preserve our safety and protect the ego. Through fear, we are unable to see beyond the immediacy of survival and our "lion" of shame eventually wears us down and drowns us from our full potential and expression.
So how do we break free from shame?
Shame is a choice - not our voice.
The fact is that shame is ever present. It’s how we manage it that matters. I write about shame to KNOW IT and to know it is to teach it through my work, my yoga and more. By journaling I develop a better understanding of what Lights me up or Burns me down. Understanding these differences helps us better prepare for triggers. Medical studies have shown that surgical patients who write down a day-to-day game plan of their recovery actually recover faster. The same can apply to our shame. Journaling our shame and noting the feelings we have at inflection points can help us roll play a better solution the next time we face triggers. Once we acknowledge and recognize the patterning we then begin to recognize our options. Most importantly, we recognize that shame is a choice - not our voice - and we can begin to establish more positive routines to replace those old, status-quo, negative patterns.
Birds of a Feather flock together
Community is key. Remember, shame likes to isolate us. As a part time introvert who needs silence and solitude to recharge, it is important that I keep my isolation in check. A good partner, support group, yoga class, walking, birding or book club or even volunteering for services you are passionate for can help you stay on track and reflect your potential Self.
Become your Mantra!
Make Mantra your drug of choice and LIBERATE YOUR SELF WORTH. I teach a mantra class because I believe in the power of chanting. Do you like singing your favorite, positive and happy song? That’s mantra! Mantras are like the password to the keypad of Self. When we become our Mantra we carve the key that unlocks the realms of our potential. Mantras smooth over old scripting and create new neural pathways to establish a more balanced mental framework with which to manage our daily world. When I feel my triggers to shame coming on - I silently chant a mantra and put into that mantra the emotions I am feeling. Mantra is a my drug of choice. Become your Mantra!
Take the Needle off the Record!
Our Mind (including the ego) is like taming a wild Mustang. We have to somehow find a way to bridle it, to tame it and direct it. Otherwise, it will buck us off and trample us. How can we do this? Meditate! Take Yoga Class! Walk in Nature! Hug a Pug! Explore ways to take your mind off cyclic thinking by doing different things. Even small things can have great impact! Because doing so lifts the needle off the negative mind and its skipping pattern of fear. Feeling angry? Set a timer for 3 minutes and do long deep breathing or take a quick walk outside and then check back in with your feelings and repeat if necessary. One simple shift such as this can create a more positive position within our mental negotiations and ripple into better choices along our journey in life.
When I teach yoga I remind students to set an intention for the work they are about to embark upon on their mats. Intentions support our actions. They plant the seed for change. Bring your intention to just one word and turn it into a mantra. I set the intention for Courage everyday and repeat to myself "I am Courage". Put that intention into the water you drink, the greetings you impart, the thank you notes you send and the smile you put on your face.
I can’t say enough about how my passion for Nature and what the technology of yoga has done for me in my life. I would have sunken long ago had I not used these tools to dial into my true inner compass. I still grapple with shame every day - it is ever present and for some of us, we may need a broader network of professional support to help us through.
But today, yesterday, tomorrow and for as long as I can - I will write, chant, walk, meditate, acknowledge, learn, and make every effort to continue to know and grow and step onto the other side of FEAR and SHAME.
Madge Malone in her blogging zone!